Shehu Shagari has described late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, as a vice president he trusted while their service to the nation lasted.
“Dr. Ekwueme was a deputy I trusted. We understood each other well and it was impossible for mischief makers to drive a wedge between us.
“He was a loyal lieutenant and because of his excellent contributions to the success of our administration during our first tenure, I had no hesitation to nominate him to run with me again for second term,” he said.
“This great democrat dared the military government of Gen. Sani Abacha, by demonstrating against the infamous agenda to transmute from military head of state to civilian president via a contrived political transition programme.
“Taking a great risk, Dr. Ekwueme, together with other nationalists under the aegis of G34 doggedly withstood the military rule of Gen. Abacha, and later mid-wife the People’s Democratic Party (PDP),” he said.
“That was why in spite of the ordeals he went through in the hands of the military and the campaign of calumny against his person, his character remained impeccable and unimpeachable.
“He has served Nigeria diligently. He has done his bit. In life he was a great man; a patriot; a statesman. Even in death his many achievements and greatness cannot be diminished.
“It is considered socially inappropriate to speak ill of the dead. So often those who pay tribute to the dead shower on them undeserved praise. I stand not to give undeserved eulogy to this hero.
“Whatever I say here today, I have said of him in his life time,” the former president said.