From: Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
Former Governor of old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, said that he has been saddenedbythe news of the death of Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
Nwobodo who made this known in his tribute issued in Enugu recalled that himself and the late former vice president were key political players in the Second Republic.
His words: “We were both Second Republic politicians; he was then the vice president of Nigeria under NPN, and I was governor of old Anambra State under NPP.
“Even though we disagreed on issues of politics, we were friends at personal level to the extent that he and his wife, Beatrice, played important roles in our family life.
“Like in 1994, he led political leaders across party lines to our wedding, as chairman, and we had since then maintained good personal relationship in spite of our political differences.”
Nwobodo described the late Ekwueme as a nationalist, courageous democrat, brilliant, a principled and complete gentleman.
He also recalled how Ekwueme championed the creation of six geo-political zones during the 1997 Constitutional Conference and led a group of 34 political leaders referred to as G-34 to confront the then military government when he felt that the military was over-staying in power.
“He was one of the founding fathers of the PDP and became the first national chairman of the party and later the chairman Board of Trustees (BoT).
“It is sad that he died at a time the unity of Nigeria is threatened, at a time when his wealth of experience and wisdom of an elder is required to strengthen the unity of Nigeria,” Nwobodo regretted.