Ekwueme, An Epitome Of A Detribalised Nigerian – Okorocha
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo has extolled the late former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, describing him as an epitome of a detribalised Nigerian.
Ekwueme, 85, died on Sunday in a London hospital after a brief illness, according to a statement, signed by his younger brother Igwe Laz Ekwueme, a musicologist.
Okorocha, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemedo, issued in Owerri on Monday, noted that Ekwueme launched the Igbos into national politics in the second Republic and refused to be cajoled into playing tribal politics.
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He said that after the civil war, Nigerians re-enacted their faith and belief in the Igbos as one of the major tripods of the nation through late Ekwueme by electing him as the vice president to President Shehu Shagari.
The governor noted that until his death, the former vice president remained in the mainstream of Nigerian politics because of his firm belief in the oneness of the nation.
He said he was a good example of the kind of politics the Igbos should be playing at any given time, adding that he had left behind a befitting legacy.
The governor said the deceased’s peaceful and honest dispositions both in politics, public and private life were all worthy of emulation.
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“The only regret about Ekwueme at the moment is that he died at a time his wealth of experience and wise advice will have been most needed and useful to Nigerians of goodwill.
“Nigerians and of course, Ndigbo in particular, will greatly miss Dr Ekwueme and I pray that the good Lord will grant his soul eternal rest,” Okorocha said.
recalls that Okorocha recently erected Ekwueme’s statue at the Heroes Square of the state, welcomed him into the Imo Hall of Fame and gave him Imo Merit Award.