Senate president Bukola Saraki has expressed sadness on the passing of former vice president, Dr Alex Ekwueme.
He applauded the deceased for his contribution to development of Nigeria.
“Today, I join Ndigbo and the entire nation to mourn the passing of one of Nigeria’s most illustrious sons, H.E. Dr. Alex Ekwueme, our first elected Vice-President.
“As we mourn his death, we celebrate his dedication and service to the development of our country.
“I will always remember Dr. Alex Ekwueme for his exemplary courage in the face of overwhelming odds – when he stood up to past military regimes, and his dexterity in his personal pursuits as a successful architect, lawyer, businessman and philanthropist.
“I pray for God’s strength for Dr. Alex Ekwueme’s family at this difficult time.
“May the Almighty in His infinite wisdom and grace continue to guide the family and the nation that he has left behind. He was a rare man and a great leader, as such, he will be missed.”
Similarly, Igbo socio-political and cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze, has described Ekwueme as an outstanding patriot whose contributions to the country’s socio-political evolution would be indelible.
President General of Ohanaeze, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, in a statement, said the country has lost one of the foremost advocates of a restructured federation.
“As Vice President Dr Ekwueme was intellectually forthright, engaging, loyal and outstandingly patriotic.
“As a politician he was courageous and original in his ideas.
Ndigbo have lost a genius, a father and an intellectual giant”, he said.
The Ohanaeze leader further commiserated with his immediate family, friends, associates and Nigeria for the huge loss.
He, however, appealed to the Nigeria government to immortalise Ekwueme.