By Douglas Okoro/Joy Mbachi
Enugu – St. Paul University, Awka, and Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki, have opened condolence registers in honour Dr Alex Ekwueme, Nigeria’s first elected Vice President, who died in a London clinic on Nov. 19.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Ekwueme had been the Board of Trustees Chairman of the St. Paul University since its inception in 2009 and chancellor of EBSU until his death,
Prof. Uche Isiugo-Abamihe, the Vice Chancellor, St. Paul University, said in his tribute that Ekwueme’s demise was a huge loss to the university community.
The vice chancellor noted that Ekwueme had undertaken major capital projects in the university, ensuring that it met all requirements that would facilitate securing full accreditation by the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC).
Isiugo-Abamihe described Ekwueme as “irreplaceable and honourable chairman whose name would be written in gold in history of St. Paul university’’.
“He was a patriot, a man of courage, a father and a trail blazer,’’ the vice chancellor stated, adding that his achievements would be built upon.
Similarly, Chief Ikechukwu Abana, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, told NAN that the university had “lost a voice’’.
According to him, Ekwueme, as BOT Chairman, was attracting personalities to sustain the university.
A NAN correspondent who visited the university on Friday, reports that Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, a former Deputy Governor of Ebonyi and Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, was first to sign the condolence register opened late on Wednesday at EBSU after a management meeting.
Similarly, Prof. Francis Idike, the immediate past Vice Chancellor, and other principal officers of the institution numbering about 16 have so far paid tribute to Ekwueme.
His younger brother, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, who is also the traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra, had issued a statement announcing the former vice president’ s death. (NAN)