A former President of the Senate, Sen. David Mark, has described the late Second Republic Vice-President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, as a quintessential leader and hero of democracy in Nigeria.
Mark expressed the view in a statement, issued by his Media Assistant, Mr Paul Mumeh, in Abuja on Monday.
Mark said that the late elder statesman was outstanding in character and leadership and described him as a foremost leader of modern Nigeria.
He said beside Ekwueme’s success in politics, he was among the leading indigenous architects, who designed the Federal Capital Territory ( FCT), Abuja.
Mark recalled Ekwueme’s relentless struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria when he led the G34 that metamorphosed into Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that formed the government in 1999.
He stressed that Ekwueme propounded the segmentation of Nigeria into six geo-political zones during the 1994, 1995 National Constitutional Conference convoked by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.
“Interestingly, the six geo political zonal structure ( North West, North East, South East, South West, North Central and South South ) have remained the a road map for power sharing arrangement in Nigeria today.
“Nigeria and indeed Africa have lost a visionary leader, a forefront politician who brought intellectualism into governance.
“His quest for excellence, due process and rule of law in Nigeria will remain a reference point in politics and leadership in many years to come.
“No doubt, history will be kind to Ekwueme for his immeasurable contributions to the political, socio and economic development of Nigeria,’’ Mark said.
He urged the Federal Government to immortalise Ekwueme for his selfless contributions to the nation.