Oko, Anambra State, Nigeria: Former Nigeria Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, was laid to rest in his home town Oko, Anambra state at about 3pm (local time) today. His interment was preceded by a funeral service and lying in state with Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo leading the federal government delegation as family, friends, and other top government officials paid their respects
Former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Mrs Patience, as well as former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku were among the mourners at the event. State governors in attendance included Willie Obiano (Anambra), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) among others.
A Lying in state function and memorial service also previously took place in Awka, the state capital in the lead up to today’s burial.
The Federal Government also renamed Federal University Ndufu Alike, in Ebonyi State, to Alex Ekwueme Federal University.
Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi State of Nigeria was founded on 26thFebruary, 2011.
Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo made the announcement on Friday, during the funeral service of the late elder statesman, Dr Alex Ekwueme.
Osinbajo paid tributes to the late former Vice President, describing him as a rare gem who always upheld the principles of personal sacrifice and service to humanity.
“We celebrate Alex Ekwueme because he practiced the eternal principles that set men and women apart from their peers, whether they are poor or rich, famous or unknown; the principles of personal sacrifice for others, service to those who cannot offer a reward, the courage of one’s convictions, bravery in the face of terror”, Osinbajo said.
Ekwueme died in November 2017, at the age of 85, at a London hospital where he was flown to after he took ill and slumped. Ekwueme who was Vice President to President Shehu Shagari was ousted in a coup staged by military officers led by Brigadier Muhammadu Buhari on 31 December 1983.
He attended the University of London; King’s College; Lagos, Nigerian Law School; University of Strathclyde and University of Washington.
He is the Ide of the Oko kingdom in Anambra State, where his younger brother, Lazarus, is the traditional ruler. He was also honoured by the council of Traditional Rulers in the old Aguata as the Ide of Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State comprising forty-four (44) towns.
Ekwueme is a distinguished architect who started his professional career as an Assistant Architect with a Seattle-based firm, Leo A. Daly and Associates, and also with the London-based firm Nickson and Partners. He worked briefly with ESSO West Africa, Lagos, overseeing the Construction and Maintenance department. He founded Ekwueme Associates, Architects and Town Planners, the first indigenous architectural firm in Nigeria.