President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with former Vice President and elder statesman, Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, who turns 85 years on October 21.
Buhari, in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, joined all former leaders of Nigeria, professional colleagues and friends of the Ekwueme family in celebrating the octogenarian.
The statement was signed by Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
The President noted that Ekwueme’s life journey, undoubtedly, had been a narrative of immeasurable grace, courage and candour.
He also extolled Ekwueme’s love for knowledge and search for wisdom from an early age, which led him into obtaining many degrees in various fields of study, including a doctorate in architecture.
Buhari also observed that Ekwueme was one of the first Nigerians to gain the Fulbright Scholarship to study in the United States.
The president also commended the former Vice President’s entrepreneurial spirit in setting up “the first indigenous architectural firm in Nigeria, spreading its tentacles to more than 16 cities, until he accepted the national call to serve his father land in 1979 after a long commitment in building his community.”
Buhari affirmed that as one of the founders of Nigeria’s democracy, Ekwueme played a major role in mobilising the group of 34 eminent Nigerians in the 1990s.
The group had moved against all odds in opposing military dictatorship in the country, and enabled the foundation of a liberal and inclusive leadership structure.
Buhari recalled with fond memory, his many encounters with the former Vice President over the years, and his loving kindness, peaceful nature and deep commitment in seeing Nigeria become one of the greatest countries on earth.
He prayed that the almighty God would grant Ekwueme good health, longer life and more opportunities to share with humanity from his fountain of wisdom.
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