Obiano made the call in Awka on Thursday during a commendation service organised by the state government in honour Ekwueme who passed on in a London hospital on Nov. 19, 2017, after a brief illness.
He noted that the deceased was one of the greatest Nigerians who should be named `pillar’ of the country because of his contributions to peace, unity and progress of the country.
“Ekwueme was the founder of G-34 that metamorphosed to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and what he did during the 1998 Jos presidential primary that produced former President Olusegun Obasanjo, stood him out as a patriotic Nigerian.
“The late elder statesman was instrumental to the creation of the six geo-political zones, and he encouraged investment at home through his Modotel chain of Hotels.’’
The governor described the late Ekwueme as his political mentor and urged the people to emulate the good virtues of the deceased.
Chief John Nwodo, the President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo, said Ekwueme was an outspoken person during his life time and a blessing to the people of the South-East zone.
Nwodo charged the people to emulate the late former vice president by using their God-given blessings to impact positively on society.
In his speech, former Senate Ken Nnamani described the late elder statesman as a man of integrity and honour.
“After serving the nation as vice president, no anti-corruption body ever invited Ekwueme for questioning for wrong doing in office and this is a huge lesson for today’s politicians,’’ he said.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, also described Ekwueme as a gentleman, unifier, a perfect Nigerian, and one who stood against bribery and corruption in politics.
Earlier, Bishop Alex Ibezim, the Anglican Bishop of Awka, who presided over the commendation service, told the people that every human being was on earthly journey and must pass on one day.
“Everyday you live and wake up is an opportunity for you to impact positively on others; but regrettably, most Nigerians have resolved not to reflect on the essence of life’’, he said.
Newsmen reports that dignitaries including former governor of Jigawa, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Sen. Ike Nwachukwu and Chief Emeka Anyaoku, a former Commonwealth Secretary-General, attended the event.