Buhari names Ebonyi federal varsity after Ekwueme

By Tony Edike on 03/02/2018

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday renamed the Federal University, Ndufu-Ikwo, Ebonyi State the Alex Ekwueme Federal University.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced this during the burial of the late former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, at St John, The Divine Church, Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

He said the pronouncement was in honour of Ekwueme’s contributions to nation building.

While paying tribute to the late former Vice President, Osinbajo described him as a rare gem who always upheld the principles of integrity.

Osinbajo said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has asked me to announce the renaming of Federal University, Ebonyi State to Alex Ekwueme University."

He described Ekwueme as an accomplished man and enjoined his family members to keep up the legacies of their father.

Ekwueme who died on November 19, 2017, was buried on Friday at Oko, his hometown.

He would be remembered for the creation of six geopolitical zones in the country when he was a member of the National Constitutional Conference during the regime of late General Sani Abacha.

He confronted Abacha with the formation of the G-34, when the late dictator tried to run as life president.

The G-34 concept metamorphosed into the Peoples Democratic Party, which took over power in 1999 when the present republic was inaugurated.

Ekwueme trained and qualified as an architect, sociologist and lawyer.

He attended the Kings College, Lagos before travelling overseas to pursue a university education.

He founded the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and set up a foundation that offered scholarships to the people of Oko and beyond.

In his homily, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Revd. Nicholas Oko, described Ekwueme as “a one-man university.”

 

He asked his family members to take solace that their patriarch had a place reserved for him in the Nigerian story.

In his sermon entitled: ”Get into the Ark,” he enjoined Nigerians to have an introspection of themselves, stressing that integrity had been thrown to the winds in every facet of life.

He said, “As we gather today to say goodbye to this great man, it’s better you think about yourselves not about Ekwueme because Ekwueme has finished the fight and has received the crown.

“Just think about yourself. Whatever you are doing without integrity will flop. If we want to rebuild this country, we must bring back integrity and honesty.”

The Anglican cleric asked “new generation” politicians to emulate the selfless qualities of the late VP, who he said lived a simple life and was close to his community, adding that Ekwueme participated in people’s problems and successes.

 

The primate described as a sad commentary that Ekwueme who was known as a community leader died abroad because of poor medical facilities in Nigeria.

He enjoined all the tiers of the government to make health care of the people top priority.

In his tribute, a former Secretary to the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who described himself as a friend to Ekwueme for 50 years, said the late VP was a rare gem, respected even in the developed countries.

He said Ekwueme left remarkable legacies in politics, national and international service and philanthropy.

Among those who attended the former VP’s funeral were former President Goodluck Jonathan; his wife, Patience; former Vice President Namadi Sambo; former ministers of information, Prof. Jerry Gana and Labaran Maku; All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.

Others were ministers of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige; Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

About 10 governors, including that of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, also attended the funeral.

In his appreciation speech, the first son of the deceased, Pastor Godheart Ekwueme, thanked Anambra State and the Federal Government for giving his father a befitting burial.

He also expressed his family’s gratitude for the renaming of the Federal University, Ebonyi State after their patriarch, adding, “Like Oliver Twist, we won’t mind asking for more.”

Posted 03/02/2018 05:22:27 AM

 

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