The Federal Government has renamed the Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo after late former vice-president, Alex Ekwueme.
The school now becomes Dr. Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari made the announcement during the burial ceremony of the second republic vice president at his home town, Oko in Orumba North local government area of Anambra State.
Osinbajo said Ekwueme was being celebrated because he practiced excellent humility and made sacrifices for fellow Nigerians, adding that he exhibited exemplary loyalty as a public officer and was a man who was always content with the position he held.
According to the vice president, there was nothing about corruption that was linked to him in and outside office and because of his love for democracy, he was opposed to military dictatorship culminating in his being the brain behind the formation of G34 that ushered in the democracy which Nigerians were enjoying.
President Buhari had, in a tribute to the late former vice president, said he received the news of his death with profound shock. The President said: “I knew he was sick and government had to arrange his transfer to London for proper health care, hoping that he will quickly recover and return to us. But alas, God, in his infinite wisdom had decided to take him.
“Dr. Alex Ekwueme was not only an accomplished professional, but also a great statesman who loved his people and the nation at large, which he displayed through his philanthropy and selfless leadership.
“He distinguished himself a Fulbright scholar and an outstanding Architect. Indeed, his demise at this time creates a vacuum that will take a long time to fill. There is no doubt that the nation will miss him, but we are confident that his good works will remain an everlasting legacy for posterity.”
Primate of all Nigeria and Metropolitan Archbishop of Anglican Communion, Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, in his homily at the commendation service regretted that Nigerian politicians had disappointed the people and called for a change of attitude.
The Primate asked why it had become a norm for prominent Nigerians to die abroad when leaders of the country could easily provide facilities for medical care in the country.
He said: “Whatever that is causing deficiency in the medical profession should be addressed. It has been observed that unfavourable situation in the country has forced most of the country’s professionals to seek for greener pastures outside the country. This is unacceptable.
“It is unfortunate that we depend on other countries for most of our needs. We need to assert ourselves. From what is happening, our Independence is just on paper. Those in government should help us.”
The cleric said so much had been said since the events of the funeral activities of the late Dr Alex Ekwueme began, describing him as a one man university. “He did so much for Oko community, especially in the area of education and provision of infrastructure such that Oko is no longer a village, but a city. He was not the type of person that is easily flexible.
“Alex Ekwueme has done his beat and the question is, how are we that are still living doing our own beats?,” Okoh asked. He observed that Ewkueme took people’s problems as his and advised the new generation of politicians to get close to the people and make the desired impact on their lives.
According to him, if all politicians played the late Ekwueme’s style of politics, Nigerians would be at peace with each other, thereby relegating ethnic politics to the background.
He described late elder statesman as a selfless politician who believed in Nigeria unity, and urged the family to be consoled by the fact that they had man his integrity speaks volume in Nigeria and beyond.