Ekwueme: Anambra govt shoulders its expenses, says Obiano
Anambra State is leaving no stone unturned in its preparation for the burial of the first Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Ale Ekwueme, whose commendation service will be held on Wednesday at Ekwueme Square, Awka.
The state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, disclosed this when he inspected pace of work at Ekwueme Square, Ekwueme’s Oko home.
At the square, Obiano said that everything was being done to give “this national icon a befitting burial”.
Obiano also disclosed that arrangement for 50,000 mourners was being made: 25,000 on the field and 25,000 others at the tent where they will have lunch immediately after the event.
The governor said that everything the state government was doing at Anambra was at its expense.
His words: “Everything we are doing at this burial is being handled by Anambra State Government, 100 percent.
“I am satisfied with the pace of work and we thank South East Governors and Federal Government for doing some of the roads but all we are doing here is 100 percent done by the Anambra State government both at Awka and Oko”.
At Oko, too, a lot of progress had been made in preparing the final burial place of the former Vice President.
Meanwhile, the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, has described the former Vice President as a good Nigerian, who showed example through his commitment to Nation- building.
Obi, who accompanied his mortal remains from the United Kingdom, described Ekwueme as a father, stressing, "the best way to preserve his memories is through good governance along his lofty dreams of peace and development anchored on justice and equity, which he pursued with consistency".
Also, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Dr Victor Oye, said that the late Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, deserved more than one billion naira burial budget from the Federal Government.
Oye's reaction came following the assertion by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, that President Muhammadu Buhari had committed about N1 billion on Ekwueme from the day the Federal Government took over his medical bills to date.
Ngige said the amount covered road rehabilitation in Anambra State and neighbouring communities in Abia and Imo States and sundry expenses.
Oye, who spoke from his Amawbia country home, described the late Vice President as a man of means who on his own achieved greatness.
He said: "What is N1billion to Ekwueme? He deserved more than that. Ekwueme worth more than N100 billion by his personal achievements. He was a rich man by every definition.
" If I were the Federal Government, I won't have pronounced the figure because Ekwueme deserved more than that. He deserved a befitting burial for what he did for this country.
"He was a detribalised Nigerian; wealthy but humble.
Describing Ekwueme as the highest ranking Igbo man that ever existed since after the civil war of 1967-1970, Oye added: "Nigerians yet unborn would remember this great man because his contributions to national development were immense.".
The APGA leader suggested three ways the late VP could be immortalised: by naming a street at the capital territory, Abuja, after him; setting up a foundation in memory of him; and naming of a Federal university after him.
He commended President Buhari and the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, for their efforts in ensuring that Ekwueme would be befittingly interred on Friday.