Federal Government says the sacrifice of the second republic former Vice-President, Dr Alex Ekueme, has impacted significantly on the nation’s unity and democratic stability.
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo made the statement during a Parade of Honour for Ekwueme mounted at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday as part of the last respects by the Federal Government for him.
He expressed the hope that the death of Ekwueme would not only encourage Nigerians but cement the relationship among all of the peoples and nationalities in the country.
Osinbajo said: ‘’when he was asked what his vision were for the country, he said, ‘I would want to see Nigeria to be a nation, not just a country.’
“Those words tell us how committed he was to the unity of this country.
‘’And I pray that in death and as we remember him, this would not only encourage us but also cement the relationship between all of the peoples and nationalities of this country so that we could become and remain one.
“We are reminded of his commitment to timeless ideals of integrity, of loyalty and of kindness to all. We thank the almighty God for giving us 85 years life of Dr Ekwueme.
“We thank the almighty God for his family and all us who he has left behind and we pray that his great wishes for this nation and all that he sacrificed for will not be in vein,’’ he said.
Osinbajo later handed over the remains of the late former vice-president to the family, represented by his son, Mr Goodheart Ekwueme, at 12:40 p.m.
The body departed for Enugu in an Air Force plane in company of his family members at 1:30 p.m.