2nd February, 2018
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday joined eminent Nigerians from all walks of life to pay last respects to former Vice President, Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme who died on November 19, 2017 at the age of 85 years.
Speaking in Anambra during the burial service held at St. John The Divine Church, Anglican Communion, Oko, Governor Ambode described the late Ekwueme as a highly principled Nigerian and thoroughbred professional who inspired many professionals to go into politics.
Governor Ambode, who recalled that Ekwueme spent better part of his life in Lagos, said as a young professional, the late Vice President was one of those who inspired him to go into politics.
He said: “I am here to represent Lagos State because the greater part of Chief Alex Ekwueme’s life was actually spent in Lagos and for me, I regard him as a Lagosian and as a complete Nigerian and that is why a whole lot of people are here to celebrate him.
“He was one of the few professionals that ventured into politics and made a big success out of it and he was somebody I looked on to being a professional coming into politics.”
While calling on the new generation to emulate Ekwueme’s principled stance on issues, the Governor said such was important to bring positive difference to the people.
He added: “I just think he (Ekwueme) made positive difference and we need to celebrate him and you can see that the celebration is more about someone that can keep Nigeria united; he was just a complete astute politician and he was highly principled and that is the new politics that we should actually emulate and play in Nigeria.”
In his sermon, Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh admonished Nigerians to seek refuge in the ark of God and jettison all acts that are contrary to divine principles.
Okoh, who anchored his message on Genesis, chapters 6 and 7 and John 10:10, said for Nigeria to be rebuilt, people must bring back the virtues of integrity and honesty, just as he charged politicians to emulate late Ekwueme by being simple and close to their people.
Besides, the clergyman urged the political class to make efforts to revamp the health sector, saying it was shameful the rate at which Nigerians travel abroad for medical tourism.
Dignitaries who graced the service include Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan; former Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; Governors of Anambra, Willie Obiano; Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa; Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu; Imo, Rochas Okorocha; Enugu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, among others.