7 quotes by Nigeria’s first elected Vice President Late Dr. Ekwueme

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Dr Alex Ekwueme

Nigeria’s former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, died in the late hours of Sunday, November 19, 2017, at a London clinic. Dr Ekwueme was Nigeria’s first elected Vice President who served as former President Shehu Shagari‘s deputy on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) between 1979 and 1983.

Dr Ekwueme was widely regarded as a dutiful public servant and a man of peace throughout his years in politics and out of it.
Here are some of his most important quotes during his lifetime:

1. Igbo importance

While speaking at a traders’ summit in his native Anambra
in 2016, Dr Ekwueme praised the industriousness of the Igbo tribe as an
attribute that has made them very important to the human race.
He said, “Igbo
people were so industrious that Northerners were saying that after the
white man, the next most important person created by God was Igbo.”

2. Igbos’ problem

At that same summit, Dr Ekwueme revealed what he believes the Igbos have to do to be better.
“The
main problem of the Igbo today is lack of trust. If we can rebuild the
trust among ourselves, our people will be better for it,”
he said.

3. Plot against Igbo presidency

During
an interview with Premium Times in 2013, Dr Ekwueme suggested that
there was an active effort to prevent an Igbo presidency.
He said, “It
appears that there is a concerted effort to prevent a particular zone
from achieving that purpose and it’s not going to be a very healthy
development for the country.”

4. Ghana better than Nigeria

In
2016, while speaking to Channels Television during the 56th
independence anniversary of Nigeria, Dr Ekwueme said the country has
failed to achieve nationhood like its neighbour.
He said, “Nigeria
as we speak now is not a nation. Our neighbour, Ghana is a nation.
There is a very big difference between a nation and a country.
“In
a nation, you have a sense of nationhood; in a country, you just have a
sense of geographical space without a sense of nationhood.”

5. On Nigeria’s unity

Dr Ekwueme said the government has the most important job in ensuring absolute unity in the country,
He said, “It
is the role of the government to promote national integration. 
National integration will not fall from the sky, it has to be worked
very hard to have national integration. We have to work very hard at
it.  It won’t come as a gift.”

6. How to get rid of corruption

In
the 2013 interview with Premium Times, Dr Ekwueme revealed why he
thinks corruption is pervasive in Nigeria and how to put an end to it.
He said, “Corruption
exists in every country and most human beings have the tendency of
being corrupt if they think they will get away with it.  Corruption is
low in America because it is difficult to get away with it.  They will
track you down.
“A slight change in our jurisprudencial norms and promulgation of a Whistle-blowers Act will bring down corruption.”

7. Selfless service

Years before his death, Dr Ekwueme revealed how he’d like to be remembered.
“I will like to be remembered as someone who came into public office to render service and rendered that service selflessly,” he said.
May his soul rest in peace.

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