The former Governor of Delta state, James Ibori, has reacted to the death of a former Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, saying that he is being mourned by a nation which failed to allow him “rescue it from political and economic morass will.”
Ibori, in a statement through his Media Assistant, Tony Eluemunor, described the death as most shocking.
He said: “Although His Excellency, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, GCON, was a great leader, a national father-figure, a stabilising factor in Nigerian politics, I, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, can never stop asking ‘what if’!
“It is ironic that the nation that betrayed this man’s effort to rescue it from political and economic morass will, now that he is dead, begin to shed crocodile tears.
“Even those who betrayed the very effort to make Ekwueme President, may begin to, hypocritically of course, bewail the fact that Ekwueme or the Igboman or woman, never ruled Nigeria.
“Ekwueme was an extraordinary polyvalent scholar, who earned multiple degrees in architecture, urban planning, sociology, history, philosophy and law from several universities.
“He was a gifted architect, whose professional legacies dot Nigerian cities. In politics, he was both gentlemanly and fatherly, introducing mildness even when others had embraced roughness and irascibility.
“If only we had allowed Ekwueme to rule Nigeria, what example would he have set? Now, we will never know…and Nigeria is the ultimate loser. Ekwueme lived a full life; gave a radiant account of himself. We all agree he was outstanding. “
Ekwueme died on Sunday in a London hospital where he was transferred to after he relapsed and went into a coma — a few weeks ago.