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Ezeife was a visionary leader, pillar of nationhood -VP Shettima

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JONAS EZIEKE, Abuja

 

 

Vice-President Kashim Shettima led other prominent Nigerian citizens in mourning to the Night of Tributes in honour of the late first civilian Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, describing him as a visionary leader, and a man of exceptional intellect.

 

In his solemn tribute during a National Night of Tribute held in honour of the late elder statesman at the grand arena of the ThisDay Dome in Abuja, Shettima hailed Dr. Ezeife as a “national colossus and a pillar of nationhood.”

 

Represented by Special Adviser to the President on General Duties (Office of The Vice President) and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar, the Vice-President commended Dr. Ezeife’s exceptional journey, highlighting his rise from someone with no formal secondary education to a Ph.D. holder in Economics from Harvard.

 

While eulogizing his statesmanship, Shettima lauded Dr. Ezeife’s leadership qualities, both in the civil service and as Anambra’s first civilian governor.

 

He acknowledged Dr. Ezeife’s focus on long-term planning for sustainable growth, even if it meant prioritizing future development over immediate needs.

 

“Dr. Ezeife, fondly known as ‘Okwadike,’ was a true giant among men,” the Vice President said, even as he recognized his unwavering advocacy for the Igbo people.

 

The Vice-President credited Dr. Ezeife with igniting a spirit of self-belief within the Igbo community and championing their development through political and socio-cultural efforts.

 

He also described the late elder statesman as a man of exceptional intellect and wit, known for his profound quotes and insightful analysis, saying “he was a mentor to many, and always willing to share his knowledge and inspire the next generation.”

 

Dr. Ezeife’s life, the Vice President noted, “was a testament to the power of resilience and an unwavering belief in the potential of our great nation,”  adding that his legacy “will be a beacon of hope, guiding us through the challenges that lie ahead.”

 

In his remarks, Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, noted that it was with a sense of grief but dignity in his heart that he was paying tribute to Dr. Ezeife, a man he said has done so much for Nigeria.

 

“He was a chief advocate of a federal Nigeria to achieve unity and national cohesion. He advocated for effective governance at the grassroots,” Akpabio said.

 

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Sylvester Okonkwo, the Senate President said Ezeife believed that constructive engagement and mutual respect were essential for national unity, stating that the late former Governor of Anambra State was a bridge builder.

 

“His ideas continue to influence decisions on how to structure Nigeria’s federal system. He prioritized education. We cannot forget him in a hurry. It is a personal loss. I send my condolences to his wife and members of his immediate family,” Akpabio added.

 

Other prominent Nigerian citizens who also spoke at the National Night of Tributes included former Presidents of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara and Anyim Pius Anyim; former Governors of Imo State, Achike Udenwa, Rochas Okorocha and Emeka Ihedioha; former Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Sam Egwu; former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba; a representative of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Benjamin Kalu; and representative of Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto.

 

For a better society

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