Em­u­late Ek­wueme’s style of pol­i­tics, Nige­ri­ans urged

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Lawrence Njoku (Enugu)

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.

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