Former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and member, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Muhammed Abba-Gana, has paid glowing tribute to the late former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, who died last week, describing him as a trusted and tested democrat.

Abba-Gana said Ekwueme was a proven patriot and nationalist and second to none team player who came to the national limelight as vice president from October 1979 to December 1983.

“His immense contributions to the 1994/95 National Constitutional Conference have endeared him to the generality of Nigerians. His timely and remarkable leadership of the G34 and the courage, intellect and wisdom he displayed in the fight for democracy and rule of law singled him out as the real hero of our democracy and leader of high moral values and fear of God,” the former FCT Minister said.

He recalled that Ekwueme’s acceptance of defeat in the 1999 PDP presidential primaries held in Jos showed his love for one united Nigeria and faith in democratic institutions and processes.

“By that acceptance of defeat, he sowed the seed for the enduring democracy and democratic order and rule of law which we now cherish and enjoy. His family is definitely in sorrow but Nigerians who know his value and deeds are in more sorrow because they have lost a redeemer, nation builder and a just and dependable leader. May the Almighty God grant the fortitude for his family to bear this great loss and may his great soul rest in perfect peace,” Abba-Gana concluded.