Alex Ekwueme, the former Vice President of Nigeria under the Shehu Shagari government, has diedat the age of 85 in London.
Nigerian Bulletin has compiled 10 things you need to about the late Ide of the Oko kingdom and foremost politician in Nigeria:
1. Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON (October 21, 1932 -November 19, 2017).
2. He was the first elected Vice-President of Nigeria, in office from 1979 to 1983.
3. He was the Ide of the Oko kingdom in Anambra State, where his younger brother Prof Lazarus Ekwueme, reigns as the traditional ruler.
4. He died at 10.00pm on Sunday 19 November 2017 at a London clinic. He had to flown there after his relapse to a coma which he fell into as a result of his fall in his Enugu residence.
5. He started primary school at the St John’s Anglican Central School, at Ekwulobia, then he proceeded to King’s College, Lagos. As an awardee of the Fulbright Scholarship in the United States of America (being one of the first Nigerians to gain the award), Alex attended the University of Washington where he earned bachelor’s degree in Architecture and city planning. He obtained his master’s degree in urban planning. Dr Ekwueme also earned degrees in sociology, history, philosophy and law from the University of London. He later proceeded to obtain a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Strathclyde, before gaining the BL (honours) degree from the Nigerian Law School.
6. Alex established a private business with his firm – Ekwueme Associates, Architects and Town Planners, which was the first indigenous architectural firm in Nigeria.
7. He also served for many years on the board of the Anambra State Housing Development Authority
8. On the national front, Dr Ekwueme participated in the Nigeria National Constitutional Conference (NCC) in Abuja, where he served on the Committee on the Structure and Framework of the Constitution.
His famous proposals at the NCC for a just and equitable power sharing in Nigeria based on the six geopolitical zones have now come to be accepted as necessary for maintaining a stable Nigerian polity
9. Dr Ekwueme mobilized the group of 34 eminent Nigerians who risked their lives to stand up against the dictatorship of General Sani Abacha during the era of military rule in Nigeria.
10. He was the founding Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Nigeria and was the first Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees.