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Exit of Alex Ekwueme



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The demise of former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, in London last Sunday, has left a vacuum in Nigeria’s political apace.  The former Vice President of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between October 1, 1979, and December 31, 1983, was declared dead after suffering complicated chest infection.
The former vice president had slumped at his residence in Enugu, leading to his being taken to a private hospital, Memfys Neurosurgery, in Enugu for urgent medical attention.
While at the Enugu hospital where he went into coma, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered his being flown overseas immediately for proper medical treatment. Unfortunately, he could not survive the ailment due to old age.
The death of the former vice president was announced on Sunday in a statement by his family which was signed by his younger brother and the traditional ruler of Oko community, Igwe, Professor Laz Ekwueme.
The statement indicated that Ekwueme passed on by 10:00 pm in a London hospital on Sunday.
“Ekwueme family regrets to announce the peaceful passing away of their patriarch, the former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON.
“The sad event occurred at the London Clinic at 10:00 pm on Sunday 19th November 2017,” the family had declared.
Dr. Ekwueme was in the vanguard of the Group of 34 prominent politicians in Nigeria (G34) that confronted the late general Sani Abacha making him see reasons while he should not perpetuate himself in power but complete the democratic transition process which general Ibrahim Babangida abandoned half way. That was at the height of military dictatorship and suppression of civil society and democratic movements by the junta.
Some of the G34 members included late chief Solomon Lar, late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, late Chief Bola Ige,  etc.
The G34 later metamorphosed into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ekwueme contested the presidential ticket of the PDP in the 1999 presidential election with Olusegun Obasanjo but lost to the retired Army general.
The former vice president was a member of the PDP board of trustees (BoT).
Before then, Ekwueme participated actively in the 1978 constructional conference organized by the then Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo before the 1979 transition. Ekwueme is widely celebrated as the author of power zoning and rotational president in Nigeria which he also advocated at another constitutional conference organized by late General Abacha before the contemporary democratic regime in Nigeria. 

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