The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday expressed sadness over the demise of the first Vice President of Nigeria and elder statesman, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
Ekwueme, who was the first elected Vice-President of Nigeria in office from 1979 to 1983, died in a London Hospital at the age of 85 during a brief illness.
Governor Ambode, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna, described the late Ekwueme as a complete gentleman, a thorough bred scholar, a philanthropist and a politician per excellence, who contributed his own quota to serving his country and humanity.
He said: “Dr. Ekwueme was a man of many parts. He was a scholar of repute who had so many academic awards to his name. Not only did he bag degrees in Philosophy, History, Sociology, Law as well as Architecture and City Planning, he was a successful business man to the core and impacted on the lives of his people positively.
“He was also a detribalized Nigerian who was committed to the course of a united, indivisible and prosperous Nigeria. He believed so much in all inclusive governance and was one of those patriotic Nigerians who contributed in laying the foundation of a sustainable democracy in Nigeria.”
Governor Ambode, while commiserating with the family of the late elder statesman, urged them to uphold the ideals he stood for, saying the nation will continue to draw inspiration from his life and times.
“His demise, just like that of our heroes past, must never be in vain. There can be no better time to unite together to achieve a better and more prosperous Nigeria,” he said.
He said Sir Ekwueme paid his dues and has left his footprints on the sands of time.
“On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, I want to express our heartfelt condolence to the family of Dr. Alex Ekwueme on this great and irreparable loss. He was a pride to our country and we will surely miss him,” Governor Ambode said.