Shagari Was An Epitome Of High Moral Leadership – Ekwueme’s Family

 

The family of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme (GCON), who passed on November 19, 2017, has sympathized with the family of the first Executive President of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari, who died on December 28, 2018.

In a statement issued on Saturday and signed by Ekwueme’s son, Goodheart Obi Ekwueme, the family extolled the late Shagari as an epitome of high moral leadership.

He was also described as one who had meritoriously served the country without any blemish.

Read Also: Buhari Gives Order For Flags To Fly At Half-Mast In Honour Of Shagari

The Ekwueme family also noted that Shagari had the most cordial working relationship with his Vice President (Ekwueme) at the time and both had greater hearts of service for the nation.

“They were more Nationalistic in their work relation and even though they both had different religious backgrounds, they were not polarized by the issues of religion and tribe.

“They were first and foremost Nigerians before Christians or Muslims, Fulani or Igbo. They were both selfless,” the family said.

The family also stated that Shagari again demonstrated his humility in his message through his son, Aminu Shagari, at Ekwueme’s burial, where he said he chose him as his Vice President because of his impeccable integrity and character.

Shagari through his son had said, “I’m not here to give undeserved praises on Ekwueme, whatever I say here I have told him so in his life.

“I never thought his last birthday was his last. He was younger than me.

“Death is a certainty and we will all face it one day.

“I chose him because he came across as a man of impeccable integrity and character.

“We worked harmoniously because we had the same vision. He was a deputy I trusted and mischief makers could not drive a wedge between us. His character remained impeccable. Even in death, his achievements cannot be diminished.”

The Ekwueme family expressed gratitude to God that Shagari lived to a ripe age and led an exemplary life and urged Nigerians of all walks of life to emulate him.

“We pray that Almighty God will comfort the family of the ex-president and all those who mourn him and will grant his soul eternal rest,” the statement added.

How Ekwueme Left A Remarkable Legacy In Politics – Anyaoku

How Ekwueme Left A Remarkable Legacy In Politics – Anyaoku
File photo: Alex Ekwueme

 

Former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Emeka Anyaoku has listed some of the major contributions of late Alex Ekwueme to Nigeria’s democracy.

He noted that the former vice president left a remarkable legacy in the nation’s politics, philanthropy, as well as national and international service.

Anyaoku said this on Friday in his tributes to the elder statesman at the funeral service held in Okoh, his hometown in Anambra State.

A gathering at the funeral service of Dr Alex Ekwueme

 

Addressing an audience at the service, he said: “We are gathered here to say goodbye to one of our most outstanding leaders, but who was not a typical Nigerian politician.”

The former Commonwealth Secretary-General stated that Ekwueme’s political career represented the brand of politics that should be the hope for Nigeria’s political future.

He also described the former vice president as a true Nigerian patriot who has a wide knowledge and unsegregated friendships across the country.

“He (Ekwueme) was a committed champion for restoring democracy to Nigeria by leading the group of 34 to break … General Sani Abacha’s seeming entrenched military dictatorship.

“And he was the man who played a similar role in the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that was to become the country’s largest political party at the time,” said Anyaoku.

Emeka Anyaoku speaks at Alex Ekwueme’s funeral service

 

He further lauded Ekwueme as a “cerebral politician” who at the Constitutional Conference of 1995 concede and introduced the idea of zoning Nigeria into six geo-political regions.

Despite the major role he played in the creation of the PDP, the elder statesman said the former vice president was not angered when he was denied the chance of leading the country.

He said: “An example of his principled politics without bitterness was how he (Ekwueme) readily accepted the outcome of the Jos Convention of PDP in 1998, where he was denied the party’s presidential ticket; notwithstanding the fact that everyone acknowledged his leadership role in the formation of the party and in its activities.

“Yet he accepted readily, the decision of the party to choose another presidential candidate and he went out of his way to actively campaign for that candidate – General (Olusegun) Obasanjo – who won the election.”

As the general elections draw nearer, Anyaoku asked aspirants and political parties as well as stakeholders to sustained Ekwueme’s legacy for a better democracy.

Key Quotes As Nigerians Bid Ekwueme Farewell

Family members, cabinet members and top government functionaries on ground to witness the parade of honour for Alex Ekwueme at the Akanu Ibiam Airport.

Elder statesman, Dr Alex Ekwueme has been buried amid tributes from top government officials, family and loved ones. Read here

He was buried on Friday at his hometown in Oko, Anambra state, following a funeral service held earlier.

While he has departed to be with lord, many believe that memories of him will linger for years to come.

Some prominent personalities who were opportune to relate with him during his lifetime, had a lot to say concerning him.

Here are some of the heartwarming comments from speakers and well-wishers from the early moments of his death to the week-long ceremony held in Enugu and Anambra states, in honour of him.

President Muhammadu Buhari

“Ekwueme’s unwavering commitment to the unity of Nigeria was a major encouragement to many governments.” Read here

Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s Tribute

“We celebrate Alex Ekwueme because he practiced the eternal principles that set men and women apart from their peers, whether they are poor or rich, famous or unknown; the principles of personal sacrifice for others, service to those who cannot offer a reward, the courage of one’s convictions, bravery in the face of terror”. Read here

Governor Willie Obiano’s Tribute

“This death has been a huge blow to me. Having lost my dear mother in June last year, nothing prepared me for the loss of someone who is like a father to me five months later”. Read here

“Ekwueme’s death is a raw pain which only God can heal. We had a father-son relationship that made me look forward to his private visits and his attendance at most of my events”.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s Tribute

“We paid our last respects to Former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, GCON, a respected statesman, patriot, and hero of democracy. May His Soul Rest in Peace.

“Dr. Alex Ekwueme showed that there is a role for professionals in politics and inspired many people including myself that we could contribute to the growth of our country”.

Atiku Abubakar

“It was a memorable experience hearing people reflect on the life of late Dr. Alex Ekwueme today in Enugu. He was a great man, great thinker, great achiever and one of our most committed democrats. His vision, guidance, and fortitude for a better Nigeria will be greatly missed.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

“The late Dr Ekwueme was a selfless, disciplined and patriotic Nigerian who lived a worthy and exemplary life. His demise is a loss to his family who would miss a caring patriarch, the people of Anambra State who would miss a guide and the good people of Nigeria who would miss a leader.

“His irrepressible thirst for knowledge and education, which propelled his foray into many fields of intellectual pursuit and his distinguished role in the development of the architectural profession in Nigeria are shining examples to the younger generation, many of whom have, in fact, benefited from his philanthropy and goodwill.

“It cannot be gainsaid that, over the years, Dr Ekwueme had shown courage of conviction and integrity in his dealings at the pinnacle of national affairs, notably with his record of sincerity as Vice-President of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983, and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during my administration as a democratically-elected President of Nigeria”. Read here.

Social Media User

“I haven’t read a single negative story about that great man. God give us men. Real men like Dr. Alex”.

Former VP Ekwueme Buried Amid Tributes

After a week-long series of events in honour of the late elder statesman, Alex Ekwueme, his remains have finally been laid to rest amid tributes.

Top government officials, close friends and family, gathered at his hometown in Oko Anambra state, where he was buried on Friday.

Some of those present to witness the final moments were former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Mrs Patience, former Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Anambra state Governor, Willie Obiano; Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state, Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state, among others.

Read Also: FG Renames University After Alex Ekwueme

The former Vice President whose remains returned to Nigeria on Monday, died at a hospital in London United Kingdom on November 19, 2017, following a respiratory illness.

Born October 21, 1932, Ekwueme started his career as an architect after earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture and city planning, as an awardee of the Fulbright Scholarship, from the University of Washington in the United States.

He later obtained a master’s degree in urban planning and also earned degrees in sociology, history, philosophy and law from the University of London.

Furthering his education, he obtained a PhD in Architecture from the University of Strathclyde, before gaining the BL (honours) degree from the Nigerian Law School.

In 1979, Ekwueme became Nigeria’s first Vice President, serving as deputy to Shehu Shagari, until 1983 when they were ousted in a coup.

Over the years, he played several roles domestically and internationally, cementing his status as a statesman.

In the course of the week, tributes poured in from many prominent Nigerians and top government officials who shared experiences from their relationship with him and described him as a rare gem who will be greatly missed.

As he is finally laid to rest today, the hope of many is that his legacies live on and Nigeria continues to uphold the virtues of unity and integrity and selfless service as he had always practised.

Osinbajo, Jonathan, Tinubu Attend Ekwueme’s Funeral Service

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday joined other prominent Nigerians at the funeral service of Dr Alex Ekwueme.

Ekwueme, Nigeria’s former president, died in November 2017 at the age of 85 at a hospital in London.

Dignitaries including political leaders from various parties converged on Oko, the hometown of the elder statesman in Anambra State to pay their last respect to the former vice president.

Addressing the gathering at the event, Vice President Osinbajo announced that the Federal Government has renamed the Federal University, Ndufu Alike in Ebonyi State to Alex Ekwueme Federal University.

Professor Osinbajo speaks at the funeral service of Dr Alex Ekwueme

 

Former President Jonathan attended the event with his wife, Mrs Patience, while the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu was also present.

Former President Jonathan (right) and his wife

 

Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku, and Primate of the Church of Nigeria )Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, were among those among the speakers at the funeral service.

Emeka Anyaoku speaks at Alex Ekwueme’s funeral service

 

The event was also attended by former Vice President Namadi Sambo and the host governor, Willie Obiano.

Former Vice President Sambo

 

Other governors in attendance include Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Ifeanyi Okowa from Delta state, and Abia State’s Okezie Ikpeazu.

L-R Governor Okowa and Governor Okorocha

 

Also present are Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, as well as the National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun among others.

Governor Umahi and APC National Chairman Oyegun

FG Renames University After Alex Ekwueme

The Federal Government has renamed Federal University Ndufu Alike, in Ebonyi State, to Alex Ekwueme Federal University.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo made the announcement on Friday, during the funeral service of the late elder statesman, Dr Alex Ekwueme.

He paid tributes to the late former Vice President, describing him as a rare gem who always upheld the principles of personal sacrifice and service to humanity.

“We celebrate Alex Ekwueme because he practiced the eternal principles that set men and women apart from their peers, whether they are poor or rich, famous or unknown; the principles of personal sacrifice for others, service to those who cannot offer a reward, the courage of one’s convictions, bravery in the face of terror”.

Family, friends, and other top government officials were present at the event which is ongoing in his hometown in Oko, Anambra State.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Mrs Patience, as well as former Vice President Namadi Sambo are among those present at the event.

State governors in attendance include Willie Obiano (Anambra), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) among others.

More Tributes At Alex Ekwueme’s Funeral Service

 LIVE: Former Vice President Alex Ekwueme's Funeral Service

 

Nigerians have continued to pay tributes to former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, as his funeral service begins on Friday.

Family, friends, and well-wishers – including government official among other dignitaries are among those present at the event which is ongoing in his hometown in Oko, Anambra State.

Watch the live event below:

Dr Ekwueme died in November 2017 at the age of 85 at a hospital in London.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku, are in attendance at the funeral service.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Mrs Patience, as well as former Vice President Namadi Sambo, are among those present at the event.

State governors in attendance include Willie Obiano (Anambra), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) among others.

Ekwueme’s Death A Raw Pain Only God Can Heal – Obiano

Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, has expressed his deepest sadness over the death of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, who he described as very dear to him.

Obiano made this known during a commendation service held on Thursday in honour of the late elder statesman at the public square in Awka, which was named after him.

According to him, he shared a father-son bond with Ekwueme and the pain caused by his death is one that will only be healed by God.

“On a personal level, this death has been a huge blow to me. Having lost my dear mother in June last year, nothing prepared me for the loss of someone who is like a father to me five months later.

“Ekwueme’s death is a raw pain which only God can heal. We had a father-son relationship that made me look forward to his private visits and his attendance at most of my events”.

Obiano, however, extolled his qualities and urged the people continue to uphold the rich legacies that he left behind.

“It is a mark of greatness of Ifeanyi Alex Ekwueme that the ideals that he invested his youth and old age in have remained the dominant issues of our time and resonant questions for the future generations.

“Indeed there can be no true mark of greatness and this is what makes it compelling for the federal government to immortalise this great man by naming a national monument after him.

“This should not only strengthen the walls of national unity but also ensures that the sacrifice of this great compatriot do not go in vain.

“Ekwueme left us a proud heritage so, rather than grieve and mourn over his passage, I urge you all to celebrate the life and times of a man who came clearly ahead of his time and did his best to make Nigeria a better place for everyone,” he said.

The former Vice President died at a hospital in London United Kingdom on November 19, 2017 following a respiratory illness.

His remains returned to Nigeria on Monday, and after a week-long series of events, he will finally be buried at his hometown in Oko Anambra state, on February 2.

More Tributes Pour In At Ekwueme’s Commendation Service

Government officials, family and friends of the late elder statesman, Alex Ekwueme, on Thursday gathered for a commendation service held at the public square which was named after him in Awka, the Anambra state capital.

Some of those in attendance were the Governor of Anambra state, Willie Obiano; Minister of Labour and employment, Chris Ngige; former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani; among others.

Sharing from their experiences with the late elder statesman, they stressed the importance of gathering experience in public or private service before venturing into politics which according to them is about service delivery.

Read Also: Ekwueme’s Death A Raw Pain Only God Can Heal – Obiano

Also delivering his sermon, the Anglican Bishop of the Awka Diocese reminded the congregation of the need to live a life of impact with eternity in mind.

The week-long event which entered its fourth day will come to an end with the final burial on Friday.

Ayade Pays Tribute To Alex Ekwueme

The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has paid tribute to the former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme, as the nation prepares to give the late icon a befitting burial.

Signing a condolence register opened at the government house in Calabar the Cross River State capital, Ayade described the late Vice President as a selfless political leader who through his lifetime contributed greatly to the development of the country.

In his tribute, Ayade wrote, May the mighty and worthy character and ethics continue to glow and take Nigeria to the dream of the people.

He urged political office holders to emulate the steering virtues of the deceased to make a difference in governance.

The former Vice President died on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at a London hospital.

He was flown to London for medical treatment after he was reported to have suffered a chest infection which left him in a coma in a hospital for two weeks.

Born October 21, 1932,  Ekwueme started his career as an architect after earning a bachelor’s degree in architecture and city planning, as an awardee of the Fulbright Scholarship, from the University of  Washington in the United States.

He later obtained a master’s degree in urban planning and also earned degrees in sociology, history, philosophy and law from the University of London.

He also obtained a PhD in Architecture from the University of Strathclyde, before gaining the BL (honours) degree from the Nigerian Law School.

In 1979, Ekwueme became Nigeria’s first Vice President, serving as deputy to Shehu Shagari, until 1983 when they were ousted in a coup.

Over the years, he has played several roles domestically and internationally, cementing his status as a statesman.

 

Photos: Alex Ekwueme’s Remains At His Enugu Residence

Remains of the former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, have arrived at his residence in Enugu state, shortly after it arrived at the Akanu Ibiam Airport on Monday.

The body earlier arrived in Abuja from London, the United Kingdom, after which it was flown to Enugu State where the final interment rites will take place on February 2, 2018.

Read Also: Alex Ekwueme’s Remains Arrive In Nigeria

See photos below.

Photos: Alex Ekwueme’s Remains Arrive In Nigeria

Remains of late Alex Ekwueme arrive at the Akanu Ibiam Airport Enugu state for final burial rites.

Remains of the former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Monday.

The body arrived the country from London, the United Kingdom, after which it was flown to Enugu State where the final burial rites will be taking place.

Read Also: Ugwuanyi, Others Pay Last Respect To Ekwueme

See photos below.