Shagari Reveals 4 Things You Should Know About Ekwueme
Dr. Alex Ekwueme was the Vice President of Nigeria between 1979 and 1983 in a government presided over by Mr Shehu Shagari.
The leaders were overthrown in a military coup by Muhammadu Buhari who is now a civilian president.
The Vice President died in a London Hospital in November, but former President Shagari still remembers a lot about him.
Tributes have continued to pour in for the dead leader and Shagari added his eulogy in Enugu, revealing some things that most young Nigerians did not know about late Dr. Ekwueme.
1. His surname, Ekwueme portends trust and faithfulness and what we call 'Talk-Na-Do' in Nigeria and Shagari described him as a Vice President he trusted while their service to the nation lasted.
Shagari also said that because of the deep trust he had for Ekwueme, it was difficult for mischief makers to drive a wedge between them.
2. The Vice President of the Second Republic of Nigeria was "a loyal lieutenant and because of his excellent contributions to the success of our administration during our first tenure, I had no hesitation to nominate him to run with me again for second term,” Shagari said.
3. Ekwueme was a very courageous man, who suffered several months imprisonment and house arrest.
"This great democrat dared the military government of General Sani Abacha, by demonstrating against the infamous agenda to transmute from military head of state to civilian president via a contrived political transition programme.
"Taking a great risk, Dr. Ekwueme, together with other nationalists under the aegis of G34 doggedly withstood the military rule of Gen. Abacha, and later mid-wifed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP),” the former president also stated.
4. He was a selfless leader and a contented man not given to crass corruption and primitive acquisition of wealth.
“That was why in spite of the ordeals he went through in the hands of the military and the campaign of calumny against his person, his character remained impeccable and unimpeachable."
Most times it is a common thing to see people speak well of a dead person, but Shagari said his statements were true.
“It is considered socially inappropriate to speak ill of the dead. So often those who pay tribute to the dead shower on them undeserved praise. I stand not to give undeserved eulogy to this hero.
“Whatever I say here today, I have said of him in his lifetime.
“Dr. Alex Ekwueme has finished his own race and has gone to rest.
“It is left for those of us still alive to emulate the virtues he exemplified especially serving humanity with the fear of God,” Shagari added.