Govt Officials, Associates Honour Former VP, Alex Ekwueme

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.

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

Buhari stated that despite being imprisoned "unjustly" after the coup that ousted the government he served, and leaving him poorer, Ekwueme's love and service for the country never dimmed.

He encouraged Nigerians to learn from the selfless service of Ekwueme and to exploit the abundant blessings God bestowed on the nation.

In his sermon, Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Revd.

He said that as in the time of Noah people will be busy running after frivolities and only few will enter the Ark.

Nigerians and the generations of Nigerians yet unborn will continue to miss the wisdom and statesmanship Dr Alex Ekwueme exemplified. "Our independence is only on paper, it is not deep, we must deliver ourselves from over-dependence on other nations for our healthcare", he said.

The G-34 concept metamorphosed into the Peoples Democratic Party, which took over power in 1999 when the present republic was inaugurated.

He would be remembered for the creation of six geopolitical zones in the country when he was a member of the National Constitutional Conference during the regime of late General Sani Abacha.

Ekwueme who died late previous year was buried on Friday at Oko, his hometown.

Among dignitaries at the burial were former president Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience, former vice president Namadi Sambo, governors Willie Obiano (Anambra), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, Senators Andy Ubah, Sam Egwu, Victor Umeh, former Information Minister Labaran Maku, former governors Jim Nwobodo and Chinwoke Mbadinuju, among others.

Others were Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, PDP chairman Uche Secondus, APC chairman, John Oyegun, Chief Bisi Akande, Afenifere group led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Middle- Belt led by Bala Takaya and South-South forum led by Francis Diokpala among others.



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