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Ekwueme Was a Loyal Deputy - Shagari

Former President Shehu Shagari has described the late Alex Ekwueme, who was his deputy between 1979 and 1983 as a trusted ally.

Shagari said this on Sunday at an event put together in honour of Ekwueme.

The event was organised by the national burial committee led by Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).

The ex-president said he chose Ekwueme to serve with him as vice-president because of his “impeccable integrity and character”.

Shagari, who was represented by his son Aminu, said: “I’m not here no give undeserved praises on Ekwueme, whatever I say here I have told him so in his life.

“I never thought his last birthday was his last though he was younger than me. Death is a certainty and we will all face it one day.

“We worked harmoniously because we had the same vision. He was a deputy I trusted and mischief makers could not drive a wedge between us. His character remain impeccable. Even in death his achievements cannot be diminished.”

On his part, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo described Ekwueme as a man who served Nigeria selflessly.

He said Ekwueme had a vision of a Nigeria that would “become a nation and not a country”. Osinbajo said he set an excellent example of loyalty, integrity and commitment.

Senate President Bukola Saraki said the late vice-president saw himself as a Nigerian first.

“He saw himself as a Nigerian first. If we continue in his legacy the future will be very bright for this country,” Saraki said.

“Perhaps if he had become the senate president we would not have witnessed the series of impeachment that we saw in the national assembly.”

Adachukwu, his daughter, said: “I think we took him for granted. We should all try and imbibe those qualities that have been said about him.”.

Also in attendance was Ike Ekeweremadu, deputy senate president, and Jim Nwodo, president-general of Ohaneze Ndigbo.

Ekwueme died in a London hospital on November 20. He will be buried on February 2.

The deceased had three PhDs yet he respected Shagari who was a grade 11 teacher

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