Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The death of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme on Sunday has devastated his community, Oko in Orumba North Local Government of Anambra State.
Consequently, the community has decided to start mourning him by declaring that all indigenes of the town wherever they live should close shop and stop work Thursday, just as the Eke Oko Market would also be shut same day in Ekwueme’s honour.
Ekwueme who died in London on Sunday at the age of 85 was the Ide Oko, while his brother, Prof. Laz, is the eze.
President General of the town, Chief CY Nwamuo who disclosed this to Daily Sun Tuesday said the community would on Wednesday remember their illustrious son and would meet briefly at the Oko Civic Centre probably for prayers.
In text message sent to natives of the community the President General said, “Oko decides to start mourning our departed son and father, His Excellency, Dr. Alex Ekwueme by closing shops including Eke Oko on Thursday, November 23. Wherever you may be, please do participate.”
Further speaking about the demise, Nwamuo said, “We are in mourning mood. The traditional ruler, Igwe Prof. Laz Ekwueme came down around 5 pm yesterday and there was a small meeting and he officially announced the death of Ide to us. Before then people, journalists coming for interviews were told to wait until the Igwe comes down.”
Nwamuo said by the death of Ekwueme the community has been thrown into darkness as he was the rallying point for the people of the town, stressing that a big vacuum has been created.
He said, “Ide’s death is quit devastating because he is the only man that coordinates everything. Maybe as the PG, you are the Igwe, you are whatever, once there is difficulty, he will call everybody together and whatever he says was taken as the final position. So we had peace because we had him, we looked up to him and respected him. Today I don’t know who else shall rally us or who else we shall regard.