SAN FRANCISCO, January 29, (THEWILL) – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; Former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari; Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and a host of others have eulogized late former Vice President Alex Ekwueme as his interment draws near.
In his remarks on Sunday, at the Service of Songs and Night of Tribute in Abuja for the late Second Republic Vice President who died in a London Hospital on November 19, 2017 at 85, Osinbajo noted that Ekwueme was the most remarkable person to serve the nation and believed in its indivisibility.
He said that while alive, the late octogenarian possessed profound humility that came from the understanding of how much there was to learn and demonstrated it by his evident willingness to listen and learn always.
He also said that late Ekwueme worked tirelessly to build and maintain the bridges established across ethnic and religious lines by many through the years.
“As Vice President, he set an excellent example of loyalty, discipline, team spirit and fidelity to the nation,” Osinbajo said.
“He was fearless and with the courage of his convictions, he led the G-34, the group of eminent Nigerians who confronted military dictatorship in its darkest and most fearsome days in Nigeria’s history.
“He contributed significantly to the return of democracy in 1999. He never for once doubted the validity of one indivisible Nigeria.”
He recalled the late vice president’s incarceration for about 20 months after the Shagari administration was toppled but that he was cleared as having never abused his office.
Osinbajo said that Ekwueme’s principled and fearless leadership in confronting the military dictatorship of late Gen. Sani Abacha, especially when it chose to succeed itself, was unequalled saying Ekwueme had remarked that he would like to be remembered as someone who came into public office to render service and rendered it selflessly.
Other dignitaries, including the President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, paid tribute to the late octogenarian.
Former President Shagari, represented by his son, Aminu Shagari, in a tribute said he would continue to relish the memorable time he had with his late former Vice President.
“He lived a simple and uncomplicated life,” he said, adding that he nominated to run with him twice because of his high level of discipline and integrity.
Meanwhile, the remains of the late Ekwueme will arrive Enugu on Monday.
It will be brought in from Abuja where it was kept since its arrival from London where Ekwueme died in December.
Governors of the southeast, lawmakers, traditional rulers and other categories of people are expected to turn up at the Akanu Ibiam Airport to welcome the body.
Programmes lined up includes a service of songs on Tuesday and a commendation service on Wednesday in Enugu.
The body will depart for his hometown, Oko, Anambra State on Thursday ahead of Friday’s interment.