By Kate Obande-Okewu
Abuja – The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja, inaugurated an 11-member committee to organise a state burial for late former Vice- President, Dr Alex Ekwueme who died on Nov. 19 in London.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), urged the committee to ensure that the late Ekwueme gets a befitting state burial.
Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the committee, said that it was open to new ideas, stressing however that the work plan to be used was in tandem with previous state burial committees.
He described late Ekwueme (85) as an `all rounder’ who earned different levels of degrees in various fields; ranging from Architecture to Sociology, History, Philosophy and Law.
“Owing to the top public office he once held in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari thought it befitting to organise a state burial for him.
“This is also in keeping with the tradition in that regard as was done to the late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu, former Chief of General staff that died in 201.
“Same for the late Admiral Mike Akhigbe, former Chief of General staff who died in 2013.
“The only difference now is the absence of the Nigerian Navy in the burial committee.
“The Nigerian Navy had played prominent roles in the burial activities of former chiefs of general staff, who incidentally were both at different time, Chiefs of Naval Staff,” he said.
The SGF, however, said that the Nigeria Police would effectively play some of the roles that the Nigerian Navy had played previously.
Mustapha pledged that the committee would work assiduously to ensure Ekwueme got a befitting state burial.
He said the late Ekwueme rendered valuable services and was a strong voice to ensuring unity and stability of Nigeria.
Other members of the committee are: Dr Roy Ugo, Secretary of the committee,
Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.
Other members are: Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, Mr Ibrahim Idris, Malam Lawal Daura, Director-General, Department of State Security Service (DSS), Pastor Goodheart Obi Ekwueme and Prof.Osita Chukwulobelu. (NAN)