22 November 2017
By James Ojo
A former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, on Tuesday stated that Nigeria betrayed erstwhile Vice-President of the Country, Alex Ekwueme, by stifling his efforts to pull the nation out of the doldrums.
Cerebral Lemon recalls that the former second republic vice president died on Sunday in a London hospital at the age of 85, barely two weeks after he slipped in his Enugu home.
Following his death, many highly placed Nigerians such as President Muhammadu Buhari, Shehu Shagari among others have sent their condolences to the deceased family, describing him as a great loss to the country.
But speaking in a statement issued by his spokesman, Tony Eluemunor, the former governor, who noted that the country would remain the biggest loser over the death of the elder statesman, said it was unfortunate Nigerians are shedding Crocodile tears over his death.
Ibori said “Though His Excellency, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, GCON, was a great leader, a national father-figure, a stabilizing factor in Nigerian politics, I Chief James Onanefe Ibori can never stop asking “what if!
“It is ironic that the nation that betrayed this man’s effort to rescue it from political and economic morass will, now that he is dead, begin to shed crocodile tears.
“Even those who betrayed the very effort to make Ekwueme President, may begin to, hypocritically, of course, bewail the fact that Ekwueme or the Igboman or woman, never ruled Nigeria.
“Ekwueme was an extraordinary polyvalent scholar who earned multiple degrees in Architecture, urban planning, sociology, history, philosophy and law from several universities. He was a gifted architect whose professional legacies dot various Nigerian cities.
“In politics, he was both gentlemanly and fatherly, introducing mildness even when others had embraced roughness and irascibility. “If only we had allowed Ekwueme to rule Nigeria, what example would he have set? Now, we will never know…and Nigeria is the ultimate loser.
“Ekwueme has lived a full life; he has given a radiant account of himself and we all agree he was outstanding. “May the Almighty God grant his gentle soul eternal rest and pour His consolation upon his family.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has urged the Federal Government to immortalise former Vice President, by naming the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, in his hometown, and other key federal institutions or assets after him.
The move was consequent upon a motion on “The Passing on of Former Vice President, Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme (1932-2017)” which was sponsored by Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, at plenary.
Stressing the need to immortalise the late elder statesman, Ekweremadu described him as an intellectual giant and consummate professional’, who pioneered architecture in modern Nigeria and paid his dues to the social, economic, and political development of Nigeria.
According to him, “The late Dr Alex Ekwueme was a bridge builder, patriot and pan-Nigerian, who played a major role in the post-war reconciliation process in Nigeria.
“As Vice President of Nigeria, Ekwueme led exemplary life of unassailable probity and unimpeachable integrity, such that even the military tribunal that tried him during his 20-month detention after the 1984 coup discharged and acquitted him.
“The tribunal also empathically stated that Ekwueme left office poorer than he was when he entered it, and to ask more from him was to set a standard, which even angels could not meet.”
Supporting the Deputy Senate President’s view, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP -Abia) remarked that fondest memory of late Ekwueme was that he remained the only former vice president that left office and still became poor.
Also speaking, Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Na’Allah (APC- Kebbi) noted that though the deceased hailed from the South-east, he was “a single Nigerian” who contributed immensely to Nigeria’s democracy and future of the country, hence the need to immortalise him.
After the various contributions by the lawmakers, they unanimously adopted the motion to immortalise the late vice president.