Anambra State stood still on Friday as Alex Ekwueme, Nigeria’s former Vice President was laid to rest in Oko, his home town.
The burial had in attendance the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as well as Goodluck Jonathan, former President of Nigeria. Top government officials, close friends and family members gathered to pay their lasts respect to the 85-year-old elder statesmen who died in November 2017.
Some of those present to witness the final moments were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience.
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, his colleague, Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, as well as Akinwunmi Ambode, Okezie Ikpeazu, Ifeanyi Okowa of Lagos, Abia and Delta State respectively, were also in attendance.
Osinbajo, in his tribute to the former Vice President, described him as a true Nigerian icon, worthy of celebrating.
He said Ekwueme was being immortalised for his selfless service, integrity and contributions to national development.
Meaning ,the Federal Government has renamed the Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo in Ebonyi state after late former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme.
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo made the announcement during a funeral service of the deceased at St John the Divine Anglican Church Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra on Friday.
Osinbajo said that Ekwueme was being immortalised for his selfless service, integrity and contributions to national development.
He described Ekwueme as a true Nigerian icon and statesman whose life and times were worthy of celebration.
He said he wasn’t only being remembered as an accomplished scholar neither for his architectural prowess or for having occupied high public offices but because he practiced eternal principles that set men and women apart from their peers whether they were poor or rich.
Osinbajo said the deceased showed bravery in the face if terror and set an excellent example of loyalty as a vice president.
“Ekwueme was a man of principles, of personal sacrifice for others and service to those who cannot offer him reward,” he said.
In his sermon, Primate Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr Nicholas Okoh, described Ekwueme’s burial ceremony as a crusade rather than a funeral service.
Okoh said a lot had been said about Ekwueme’s good Christian upbringing, public service, educational accomplishments and enjoined Nigerians to emulate his virtues.
Okoh who tagged his sermon “Get into the Ark” said that the Biblical story Noah’s Ark reminded us of salvation and destruction.
He noted that if people lived right they will enjoy Divine fellowship when they die and condemnation if they lived badly.
“Even if you are doing business, in public service or in the Lord’s vineyard and you lack integrity, things will not work fine,” he said.
The Primate consoled the late Ekwueme’s family and thanked God for having a like as their late patriarch.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion included, Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr Boss Mustapha, former President, Goodluck Jonathan and his Vice, Alhaji Namadi Sambo and 10 serving governors.
Others were Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chief Bola Tinubu, National President of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nwodo, National Chairmen of the All Progressive Congress, Peoples Democratic Party, Dr John Oyegun and Uche Secondus, respectively, among others.