Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the demise of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, as the end of an era for one of the finest politicians the nation has produced.
Aregbesola, in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr. Sola Fasure, said Ekwueme’s exit is a big blow to the nation, which wounds will linger for a very long time.
Aregbesola stated that until his death, the former Vice President served the country in the highest capacity with such untiring gusto uncommon among politicians of his age bracket.
The statement also averred that though Dr Ekwueme finally succumbed to death after battling with old age related illness, he had a glorious exit, having lived for 85 fulfilling years.
The Governor noted that Ekwueme was one of the architects of the democracy we now enjoy, being a prominent member of a group of 38 elders who stood firmly to confront military dictatorship and demanded the exit of the soldiers from government.
According the governor, the deceased politician believed in the oneness of the country and exhibited the coolest of temperament never expected of a politician during the power struggle in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when the nation returned to democratic rule in 1999.
The statement said inter alia: “The death of Dr. Alex Ekwueme is a huge loss to the country. The former Vice President was a sound academic and politician who stood for the highest ideal in politics.
“A complete gentleman, urbane, well-read, temperate and good-natured politician, Dr. Ekwueme would never play politics of bitterness.
“He cherished and preferred dialogue to politics of do-or-die. This he exhibited almost to a fault in the ensuring power struggles to select the presidential candidate in his party in 1999 and 2003.
“He was a politician with a large heart and spirit of sportsmanship. He would never rock the boat of his party but would rather forego his ambition in order to have peace.
“Dr. Ekwueme was also a team player. His working relationship with President Shehu Shagari in the Second Republic was a clear testimony to this.
“He was a stabilising force of uncommon hue, who was always ready to mend fences with anyone willing to associate with him.
“It is this same conciliatory approach he employed in all his political dealings and to the nation’s problems as well. His wealth of experience and erudition in social and political affairs and participations will certainly be missed by the entire country.
“On behalf of my family, the government and good people of the State of Osun, I send heartfelt condolences to the immediate and extended family of Chief Ekwueme, the government and people of Anambra State and the Federal Government of Nigeria through President Muhammadu Buhari. May the good Lord grant the repose his soul in his next estate.”