A condolence register has been opened for the late former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ekwueme, in his Oko country home, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra.
Newsmen report that the condolence register was opened on Tuesday after the arrival of the deceased’s wife, Ifeoma from Abuja.
Newsmen report that some sympathisers, who signed the register included Rev. Eugene Nduka, Archdeacon of St. John the Divine Anglican Parish, the church where the elder statesman worshiped.
Nduka, who condoled with the widow, said that Ekwueme’s death was a great shock not only to his family or Oko people but the church and body of Christ.
The cleric described Ekwueme as a simple and accessible man, who had time to listen to everybody in spite of his high status.
Nduka said the late former Vice President was a pillar to the church, as one could say that he single-handedly built the church.
“His death was a great shock, we are consoled that he led a good life, it is a reality we have to live with, we pray that God grant his soul eternal rest.
“Despite his status, anytime I came here, he always stood up to welcome me,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Ogonna Asuzu, a native of Oko, said, “the Iroko that held Oko had fallen”.
Asuzu, a retired lecturer at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, said “people’s comments on the life and times of the departed hero, indicated that he was a colossus, whose value to Nigerian politics was not appreciated in his life time”.
He urged the widow, who recently lost her mother not to question God on the double tragedy.
“God will not allow what is beyond her to come to her.
“Only God knows why he had to take him at this time; the beauty of the Bible is that it shows that some people had passed through this type of crisis in the past.
“Comments about him are quite encouraging, he is a hero, even in death, nobody talked about his contributions to Nigeria’s unity and politics while he lived;
“After being denied a presidential ticket, he refused to accept any form of compensation, which they like to offer him, but he believed that Nigeria should move on,” he said.
Another elder in Oko community, Chief Basil Nwosu, also recalled the contributions of the deceased to the educational and religious development of the town.
Nwosu described the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, as the brainchild of Ekwueme, adding that he supported the building of the church, St John the Divine, Oko.
Newsmen report that the widow, who was in company with her close relations, has been in a sober mood, as the culture of the Igbo demands.
The atmosphere was equally sober, as sympathisers thronged the home of the late sage to commiserate with the family.
The former vice president died in a London clinic on Sunday.