Ekwueme: Empty Eulogies



By DESMOND EKWUEME

Expectedly, great words from our statesmen are pouring on Late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, former Vice-President of our beloved country. It is a ritual in our clime for us to praise even to high heaven those we worked against while they were alive, once they are pronounced dead. We celebrate them when dead as if we loved them dearly while they were alive. But who will live forever? Who?

I have been following comments from many Nigerians especially the political class mourning Ekwueme. One of them said, "Ekwueme was the best President Nigeria never had", another said "Ekwueme was the best Vice-President Nigeria ever had" and yet another said, "Ekwueme was the best leader from the South East"....and they go on and on. But none of them has told Nigerians why they (the ruling class) never allowed them (Nigerians) to enjoy or benefit from the performance of this best leader that never was while he was alive. Why did the ruling class not allow Ekwueme to be President?

Ironically, even people (delegates) from Ekwueme's geo-political zone (South East) voted against him in the PDP Presidential primaries which was clearly won by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. Talk about "best leader the South East ever had"?

I recall when late political sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo died; the same words were used or said by those who stood against his Presidential ambition in 1979. He was tagged "the best President Nigeria never had". What an irony! What a people we are! What a sad, ugly and expensive joke! 


However, one thing anyone cannot take away from Ekwueme is the fact that he is a pan-Nigerian. A lover of Nigeria. That love was displayed in his loyal and humble service to his then principal, President Shehu Shagari. He brought Ndigbo under Shagari's government and endeared Shagari to Ndigbo. Above all, Ekwueme did not soil his fingers despite the high level of looting that consumed that administration. 

Ekwueme was a clean man. He didn't have any cause to steal public fund. Perhaps the only Vice-President to be compared to Ekwueme could be Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. I stand to be corrected though; his tenure with PMB is yet to run out. Ekwueme is well read and full of wisdom. He has multiple degrees in Architecture, urban planning, sociology, history and philosophy.

Aside knowing him as former Vice-President, I know Ekwueme from afar. I attended Anambra State Polytechnic which later became Federal Polytechnic. The institution is in his home town Oko. In fact, his house was just about 2 000 meters away from the polytechnic yet, you can hardly know that a former Vice-President lives in there. 

No security presence and no signs of wealth nor affluence. He lived a simple life and that can be attested to by the people of Oko in particular and Anambra at large. He has never openly involved himself in the politics of who becomes governor of Anambra State as done by people of his class. I am yet to hear of houses, properties or companies in London, New York, Paris, Dublin, Dubai, Doha or Vienna belonging to him.

Yes, he was never Nigeria's President because it is the will of God but those who think they worked to stop his dream and ambition should not rub it in with their ugly eulogies. No man can play God...

This reminds me of all those stealing and carrying out dubious exercises in the Presidency while PMB was on sick bed in London on medical vacation. They were surely praying for him to die so that their stinking and nefarious acts would be covered. If PMB did not return to Nigeria alive, Nigerians won't have known nor heard of "Mainagate". 


I am sure the case of Babachir Lawal would have been swept under the carpet. We won't have known that there was no single syringe in Aso Villa Clinic and many more. The same people would have called PMB "a crime fighter", "the only saint in Nigeria", "Mr. Incorrigible", "Mr. Excellent", "the cleanest Nigerian that ever lived" etc if their prayer for him to die was answered.

Sadly, the same people who had wished PMB death are still hanging around him today manning top or key positions. God save Nigeria!

Adieu Alex Ekwueme.....Adieu Great Nigerian.....Say us well to Herbert Macaulay, Tafawa Balewa, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo and Tony Enahoro among others.
TAG