Emulate Ekwueme’s style of politics, Nigerians urged
TRIBUTES poured in torrents last night for late former Vice President Alex Ekwueme as the Anglican Church urged politicians to emulate his style of politics for the growth of the nation’s democracy. At a night of tributes held at the Cathedral Church of Good Shepherd Anglican Church, Enugu, family, friends and associates took turns in praising what they described as “worthy and exemplary life’ of the late icon, who died at the age of 85 years.
The Bishop of Oji River Diocese (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev Amos Madu, said the church was proud to have someone like him, stressing that he was a true Anglican as he never betrayed his faith throughout his political career.
Madu who recalled the great contributions of Ekwueme to the development of the church in Nigeria said: “He was an Anglican to the core, a son of an Anglican church worker. He loved the Anglican Church. He was accommodating and was able to blaze the trail in the political circle. He was a wonderful friend of little people and because of him; St Paul’s University is still living and will remain alive. He did not allow his riches to keep him away from God. He did not forget his God. He was truly a gift from God to Nigeria and we can lift our shoulders high to say we are true Igbo persons because of the person of Ekwueme.”
A former Presidential candidate, Dr Sylvester Ugo said Ekwueme was an accomplished gentleman, saying he never succumbed to the temptation of materialism that was the bane of the present politics in the country.
He said the Ekwueme’s brilliance was responsible for the creation of the Ministry of Science and Technology in the country, stressing that after the 1979 general elections in which he won with Alhaji Shehu Shagari, he had sent memo to a committee set up by the federal government for the creation of the Ministry, following his love for the development of science and technology.
“He loved Nigeria so much that he was prepared to make sacrifices for the country. He was a man of peace, character and a man whose legacy many will continue to emulate”, he said.
A retired Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Eugene Ubaezuonu, said Ekwueme distinguished himself in politics, stressing that his qualities led to his recommendation to serve as Shagari’s vice in 1979.
He said that what the country was missing at the moment were people who could stand tall in the face of challenges, stressing that while one million Nigerians were marching to ASO rock in 1998 to ask former Military leader, Sani Abacha to transmute to civilian President, Ekwueme assembled the G34 to ask Abacha to quit power and return same to civilians.
“That is the character of the man we are talking about. He was fearless and committed in his duty and feel every sense of responsibility for the country where he lived. We will miss him, but our consolation is that he lived a good life”, he said.
Pastor Obi Ekwueme, his son, said that his father’s legacy would continue to be emulated by the family at all times.
At the event were Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Deputy Governor, Anambra State, Nkem Okeke; President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo Nnia Nwodo, several Bishops, traditional rulers among others.