*Describes Ekwueme as Epitome of detribalised Nigerian
Amby Uneze in Owerri
Imo State Governor and Chairman, All Progressive Governorsâ€™ Forum, Chief Rochas Okorocha has congratulated the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the Anambra State Governorship election, Chief Willie Obiano over his victory at the poll which was declared Sunday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Okorocha also received the sad news of the death of Dr. Alex Ekwueme, the former Vice President of Nigeria, with great shock, describing him as an epitome of a detribalized Nigerian, and therefore died as a statesman.
The governor remarked that nine years after the civil war, the rest of Nigerians re-enacted or reinforced their faith and belief in the Igbos as one of the major tripods of the nation through Dr. Alex Ekwueme who was elected the Vice President of the nation with Alhaji Shehu Usman Shagari as the president.
Okorocha however, said that Obianoâ€™s victory was too clear to be contested or questioned and therefore advised the candidates of other political parties who took part in the election to congratulate him and avoid going to court to question his victory.
He also expressed regret over the loss of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election and attributed the loss of his party in the election to internal wrangling and lack of genuine commitment on the part of the partyâ€™s leadership in the State.
The governor however expressed the hope that with the election, the future of APC in the South-East is very bright, and stressed that before now nobody would have thought that APC could do better than the PDP in an election in Anambra State.
Okorocha also urged Nigerians to celebrate President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC led government at the centre for allowing a level playing ground for all the candidates, adding that the Anambra election has shown that the APC has what it takes to strengthen the nationâ€™s democracy.
The governor thanked the people of Anambra State for a peaceful election and for not yielding to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)â€™s threats or listening to the groupâ€™s call for boycott.
On Ekwuemeâ€™s death, Okorocha noted that late elder statesman launched the Igbos into national politics since the second Republic and refused to be cajoled into playing tribal politics, and until his death, he remained in the mainstream of Nigerian politics because of his firm believe in oneness of the nation.
According to the governor, Dr. Ekwueme was a good example of the kind of politics the Igbos should be playing at any given time and has left behind a befitting legacy.
He said Dr. Ekwuemeâ€™s peaceful and honest dispositions both in his politics, public and private lives are all worthy of emulation, stressing that the only regret about him at the moment was that he died at a time his wealth of experience and his wise advice would have been most needed and most useful to all Nigerians of goodwill.
The governor said Nigerians and of course, Ndi-Igbo in particular would greatly miss Dr. Ekwueme and prays that the good Lord should grant his soul eternal rest.