The death of Dr. Alex Ekwueme is for many of his admirers a big blow but we cannot question God.
Ekwueme (Ide Aguata na Orumba) lived not only as an individual but an institution. Ide the man may no longer be here but ide the institution shall live for centuries to come. The whole country testifies to his uncommon humility even when he had every reason to be proud.
As a national political figure, he could rightly be described as the beacon and pathfinder of our present democratic experiment. Ide looked the dreaded Abacha eyeball to eyeball and told him not to continue with the ignoble scheme of succeeding himself. In the face of the betrayal, conspiracy and fraud that characterised the PDP presidential primary in Jos, Ekwueme remained calm. He put Nigeria first. Some Nigerian politicians are shameless hypocrites to whom you could not ascribe any meaningful ideology or conviction. I was at the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina Lagos during the Memorial Service in his honour, and seated at the front row was a former governor of one of the south eastern states.
His repeated roles of betrayal against Ekwueme in his presidential bids are well known. He worked for former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the retired generals who imposed him on Nigeria. The same Obasanjo later became a torn in our ex governor’s flesh dealing ruthlessly with his political and business interest. There is indeed the law of Karma. When the PDP under the leadership of Obasanjo decided to humiliate Ide (the founder of the party) by de-registering him, they found willing tools in an Anambra senator.
Today the senator is praising Ide to high heavens. In the face of all the humiliations, Ide refused to leave the party he founded. They betrayed the Igbo man’s brightest chance of becoming the president of Nigeria. I remember vividly that one prominent politician from Enugu State (a former governor and former senator) addressed the crowd at the Jos presidential primary in Hausa to convince northern delegates on why Ekwueme should not get the PDP ticket. But there is the law of Karma. Ask this Enugu born former governor/former senator what became of his bank. James Ibori was right when he said that a nation that betrayed Ekwueme is now shedding crocodile tears. In the case of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, I couldn’t help laughing when I read his tribute.
It is on record that Jonathan did not accord Ekwueme the honour and respect due him. The case of President Buhari is a different issue. As military Head of State, he detained Ekwueme for two years for no good reason before he was set free by a court that cleared him of all allegations. Did Buhari ever apologise to Ekwueme for the great act of injustice. Today he is eulogizing Ekwueme. Funny!!! When Ekwueme propounded the theory of six geo-political zones, it was used against him.
He was accused of trying to divide Nigeria. Today the six geo-political zones have become a part of us as a nation. For the people of the South -South, they must never forget that the derivation formula was upwardly reviewed to 13% on account of Ide’s recommendation. Good night,Nwoke n’asaa, Nwa Ezeokwehe, the superior gentleman who saw tomorrow. Farewell to you Ide Aguata na Orumba who came, saw and conquered. Adieu selfless statesman till we meet to part no more. Nwoke di be gi Okoli, A Legal Practitioner, Chartered Arbitrator and Realtor, is Managing Partner of Vintage Attorneys. Vanguard