In a statement on Monday in Sokoto, Shagari said that Ekwueme’s death was a huge loss to the entire nation.
Shagari described him as a brother and a humble Nigerian who contributed in various capacities to the nation’s development.
“It is with a deep sense of loss that I learned about the demise of my brother and former vice president.
“On behalf of my family, I sincerely commiserate with Nigerians on his death.
“May his soul rest in peace,” he said.
Also, Senate President Bukola Saraki expressed grief over Ekwueme’s death.
Saraki in a statement in Abuja that Ekwueme was a rare personality and an exceptional leader who dedicated himself to the development of the country.
The statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu.
Saraki prayed God to grant Ekwueme eternal rest and give his family and the nation the grace to bear the loss.
” I join the entire nation to mourn the passing of one of Nigeria’s most illustrious sons, Dr Alex Ekwueme, our first elected Vice-President.
“ As we mourn his death, we celebrate his dedication and service to the development of our country.
“We remember his exemplary courage in the face of overwhelming odds – when he stood up to past military regimes in the struggle for the restoration of democracy and his dexterity in his personal pursuits as a successful architect, lawyer, businessman and philanthropist.
“He will be sorely missed,’’ Saraki said.
Immediate past Senate President David Mark described Ekwueme as a quintessential leader and a hero of democracy.
In a statement, signed by his Media Assistant, Mr Paul Mumeh. Mark said that the elder statesman was unique in character and leadership.
He noted that Ekwueme was among the leading indigenous architects who designed the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He also noted that Ekwueme relentlessly struggled for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria when he led the famous G34 that later metamorphosed into the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
He listed Ekwueme’s exploits in politics and leadership to include the conception of the segmentation of Nigeria into six geopolitical zones for administrative and political convenience during the 1994/1995 Constitutional Conference.
“Interestingly, the six geopolitical zonal structure (North-West, North-East, South-East, South-West, North-Central and South-South ) has remained the roadmap for the power-sharing arrangement in Nigeria.”
According to Mark, Nigeria and the entire Africa has lost a visionary leader.
“He was a forefront politician who brought intellectualism into governance.
“His quest for excellence, due process and rule of law in Nigeria will remain a reference point in politics and leadership in many years to come,” he said.
Mark urged the Federal Government to immortalise Ekwueme for his contributions to national development.