•  Ohaneze Ndigbo mourns passing

Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu

Nigeria’s Second Republic Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, who died Sunday night at a London clinic at the age of 85, will be remembered for many things.

Other than being a foremost architect, a statesman and consummate politician, who stood tall in the Second Republic and was one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the late Ekwueme will be remembered for the role he played in the Constitutional Conference of 1995 that gave birth to the 1999 Nigerian Constitution.

As one of Nigeria’s foremost advocates for the restructuring of the country, it was Ekwueme at the conference that authored Nigeria’s zonal structure.

Although his suggestion at the time was not enshrined in the constitution, today it forms the basis for the country’s six zonal geopolitical structure that serves as a basis for the allocation and distribution of resources in the country.

Reacting to his death Monday morning, a statement by the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said: “Nigeria has lost in Dr. Alex Ekwueme one of the foremost advocates for a restructured federation.”

According to Nwodo, the late former vice-president 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.

May his soul rest in peace,” he added.