Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi and Chairman of the forum described Ekwueme’s death as the end of an era, in a statement in Abakalilki.
The elder statesman died at a London clinic at about 10 p.m. on Sunday, according to his brother, Igwe Laz Ekwueme.
Ekwueme, who turned 85 years in October, was reported to have collapsed in his residence in Enugu a few weeks ago.
He was immediately taken to Memfys Neurosurgery Hospital in Enugu from where he was moved to London for further medical attention on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ekwueme was the Vice President of Alhaji Shehu Shagari between 1979 and 1984.
According to the forum, the death is a rude shock and a great loss to Ndigbo in particular and Nigeria as a whole.
“I commiserate with the Anambra Government and the entire Ekwueme family of Uga in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state over the loss,” the chairman said.
He prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest in His bosom.
“The death of our father and leader is devastating, especially during this period that his advice is needed most.
“He was a great Nigerian who believed in the unity of the country and we have learnt a lot from his deep political sagacity, as his children.
“We have lost a gem, gentleman, decent politician and academia as the South-East through, its governors would soon map programmes to pay its last respect to the fallen iroko tree.”
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