Ekwueme: Shagari speaks on what ex-Vice President went through because of Abacha | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper f

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Shehu Shagari, Second Republic President, has said his late former deputy, Alex Ekwueme was a reliable and trusted ally.


The former President said the deep trust he had for Ekwueme made it difficult for mischief makers to drive a wedge between them.

In a statement he signed, Shagari also recalled how his administration was infamously terminated through a military coup in December 1983.

Shagari said Ekwueme was a very courageous man, who suffered several months of imprisonment and house arrest with a number of politicians who served in the Second Republic.

According to Shagari, “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.

“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).

“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.

“I will continue to relish the memory of the good times we shared together.

“Dr. Alex Ekwueme has finished his own race and has gone to rest.

“It is left for those of us still alive to emulate the virtues he exemplified especially serving humanity with the fear of God.”

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