BEVERLY HILLS, February 02, (THEWILL) – Nigeria’s former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, was laid to rest on Friday at his hometown, Oko in Anambra state after a week-long burial rites.
Top government officials, close friends and family members gathered to pay their lasts respect to the 85-year-old elder statesmen who died in November 2017 following a respiratory illness.
Some of those present to witness the final moments were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience.
Others are 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.
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 and 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.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has renamed the Federal University, located in Ndufu Alike Ikwo in Ebonyi State as Alex Ekwueme University.
Vice-President Osinbajo announced the honour at the funeral rites for the former vice-President at the St John of the Divine Church, Oko Anambra state saying that Ekwueme was being immortalised for his selfless service, integrity and contributions to national development.
He described Ekwueme as a true Nigerian icon and statesman whose life and times were worthy of celebration adding that he wasn’t only being remembered as an accomplished scholar, or for his architectural prowess or for having occupied high public offices but because he practiced eternal principles that set men and women apart from their peers whether they were poor or rich.