Ekwueme a great leader — Secondus, Jubrin

Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 25 January 2018 | 1,859 times

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•Late former VP, Dr. Alex Ekwueme

The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday visited the family of former Vice President Alex Ekwueme, at his Enugu residence.

At the visit, the party leaders described Ekwueme as a detribalised Nigerian and a democrat par excellence.

The delegation, which included Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, was led by the party's national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

Other national officers in the team were South-East leaders, including pioneer secretary of the party and ex-Governor, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, and some members of the National Assembly.

Secondus described Ekwueme as “a great leader; a leader that God gave wisdom, with other leaders across the country; they sat together, and put together a party that has national representation, a party that is not sectional, a party that is for all Nigerians.

“It took Dr. Alex Ekwueme sleepless nights, and I can recall, in 1998, he worked tirelessly and because of the respect that he and all the other leaders had endeared to themselves across this nation, people trooped into Abuja and they formed what today has been the biggest, strongest party in Africa.

“He has been a very successful architect and has practised across this nation; his hardwork and signature is across the Niger, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Abuja, all over the world.”

He added that based on Ekwueme’s professional competence and intelligence “he was elected in the Second Republic as the first civilian Vice President of our country; a man who had displayed maturity, integrity and who had no corruption, lived the life that today all of are working hard to emulate; he lived an exemplary life; at all times, he was very peaceful, a peacemaker.

“How can we describe this man who has shown the light to the young and to the world, that politics can be played without bitterness? How are we going to describe this intellectual giant? This one of the greatest democrats in a modern history of Nigeria?

“How do we conclude the summary of a man who has shown at all times, even during the military era, even when he was arrested with other leaders, yet, he was persistent, he was calm, and believed God, and at the end of the day, he and the other leader, with their sleepless, night, with Solomon Lar and the other leaders, made sure that the military were shown the Barracks where they rightly belong; it is difficult to be at the spot to make a total summary of what this giant of Africa represents.

“Mama, we feel the same way because every time he comes into a meeting, either National Executive meeting or Board of Trustees meeting, that meeting will be peaceful, successful, that meeting will remain calm. He has a simple disposition filled with fear of God that attracted men and women across this country to him, that is the time we are talking about, that Nigeria, African and Igbo nation had lost- a great giant.

“We ask God to massage your heart and the pain will forever varnish; he will forever live in the memory as the leader who was fearless, highly respected by other leaders across this country, Shagari, Obasanjo and others. The PDP has lost its own, yes he is a national figure but our party has lost a great man, what would we have done without Dr. Alex Ekwueme.

“For us members of the party, and the Enugu State Government, we are here on this condolence visit to console you and ask God Almighty to console you; the formation of the PDP would not have been possible without Ekwueme and some other leaders; therefore, we feel the same pain; therefore, we are here with you to share this sorrow and to share the grief; our prayer is that God who is all knowing will keep the family of our father, the family of our leader and fill the gap that he has left behind; only God can do it.”

Speaking in the same vein, the BoT Chairman described Ekwueme as a man who played a politics without ethnicity and religion.

“I knew Alex Ekwueme for a long time ago; that time I was a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the second republic; in fact I was one of the youngest senators at that time; we worked with Alex Ekwueme, together with the former President of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari.

“I remember very well, when we finished our party meetings, Alex Ekwueme will hold my hands, take me to his own office and we discuss important issues.

“I remember that when there was a problem in the North, when some people were trying to send Igbo away from the North, I discussed with Alex Ekwueme and we all agreed on my ideas and thereafter, I formed a movement, Movement for the Protection of Igbo in the North; I was that chairman of that movement in the North and with that movement we can now see that everything has been watered down; and the Igbo are living peacefully in the Northern region of Nigeria.

“There is no village in the North where you will not find an Igbo man, we because very acquainted and very friendly with Igbo people through Alex Ekwueme.

“Dr. Alex Ekwueme was a man of honour and integrity, worthy of emulation by all of us. He was a true Nigerian, he did not see any form of ethnicity or religion in politics. So, I join many Nigerians in paying condolence.”

Responding on behalf of the family, his daughter, Alexandria Chidi Onyemelukwe, who was the PDP’s deputy governorship candidate during the Anambra State election last November, said her father was a true party man.

While urging members of the party to emulate legacies left by her father, especially in the area of party supremacy, she said, “my father was PDP and PDP was my father.”

Source: News Express

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