Dr. Alex Ekwueme, Nigeria’s Vice-President in the Second Republic, is dead. The late Dr Ekwueme who fell sick recently and was flown to a London hospital died late yesterday.
Laz Ekwueme, a professor of Music and traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra State where they hail from in the Eastern part of the country said so in a family statement on the matter.
Dr Ekwueme, an architect, became the Vice-President to the Alhaji Shehu Shagari presidency in 1979 under the defunct National Party of Nigeria, (NPN). Both were re-elected in 1983 but overthrown in the December 1983 coup.
Opposition to the General Abacha regime in 1998 found in him the leader around whom members of the incipient People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) coalesced under the label of the G-34. When the G-34 metamorphosed into the PDP, he sought to be the presidential flag bearer but was defeated by the Obasanjo camp. He tried again in 2003 but still didn’t get it.
It would not be easy to decide what he would be most remembered for. While some people would say that he stands as testimony to closing the wounds of the Nigerian Civil War by becoming Vice-President under a decade after the war, others would point at how he advanced the principle of zoning to the six regional structures Nigeria operates today. He was an organised politician.