DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led top government functionaries and politicians to attend the burial ceremony of one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nigeria’s first democratically elected Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
The burial ceremony which took place at Dr Ekwueme’s hometown, Oko, Anambra State was also, attended by Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibajo, former President Goodluck Jonathan and wife, Patience; former Vice President Namadi Sambo, former Secretary General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Governors of different states of the country, Chairmen and members of different political parties, among others.
Governor Okowa was among the first dignitaries to arrive St. John The Divine Church, Oko, Anambra State venue of the funeral service for the late Dr. Ekwueme who Prof. Osibajo at the occasion, described as principled, brave and “set an excellent example of loyalty as Vice President.”
“He was a man of impeccable integrity,” Prof. Osibajo said, stating that the federal government has renamed Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi State as Dr. Alex Ekwueme University.
Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku in an emotion-laden tribute at the occasion described the deceased as a “cerebral politician who did not play politics of bitterness.”
The Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, His Grace, Nicholas Okoh had in a sermon challenged political office holders to ensure that Nigeria’s independence goes beyond “paper”.
According to him, Nigeria should be independent in providing basic amenities for its people, noting that it is wrong for Nigerians to leave their kits and kins to seek medical services outside the country and in most cases, lose their lives in such whereas, those in authority can make the hospitals in the country functional.
“Our independence is only on papers, our leaders should deliver us from running to other countries for medical services, whatever the deficiency in the medical profession, the government should help us, let our people stop dying abroad,” the Primate said.
Speaking on the topic, “Get Into The Ark,” Most Revd. Okoh urged all evildoers in the country to repent and get into the ark of God, observing that the late Ekwueme achieved so much in the academia, politics and did so much to transform his community, Oko which political office holders deserve to emulate.
He emphasized that political office holders should be men of integrity and avoid cheating the electorates by coming to them only when they need their votes.