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So many adjectives have been deployed to qualify the personality and insurmountable impacts of Pa Alex Ekwueme in the sociopolitical trajectory of Nigeria, but a consensus appears to be elusive, as Ide was exceptionally iconic.

Before he joined his ancestors, Pa Alex Ekwueme contributed immensely to the sustenance of the unity, peace and progress of our great Nation. A distinguished and highly contemplative man, Ide's political appellation was second to none as his tree always loomed large and dominated any environment it dwelt.

Amongst his vital contributions was the call for true Federalism in Nigeria, as was captured in The Guardian of March 12, 1992, which according to him, "Ours is hardly a Federation except in name". He also called for true federalism in Nigeria during the 2014 National Conference which is still being regarded as the foundation of the present call for restructuring.

Pa Ekwueme was also a member of the G-34, a group that founded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ide, despite being denied the Presidential ticket of the PDP during the 1998 Presidential Primary election of the party held in Jos, accepted to Chair the Fund Raising Committee of the party’s 1999 Presidential Campaign, a laudable gesture which further confirmed his undiluted and unparalleled patriotic spirit.

Ide's call to higher glory, while being a heavy and irreparable loss to us as a people, cries out for a deeper and extensive reflection of Nigeria as a Nation and its destination with his patriotism, integrity and political intelligentsia at the heart of all that needs to be emulated by our political class.

As he is being committed to the mother earth today, it is my earnest prayer that the good Lord bestows on his family, Ndi Anambra and Nigerians by extension, the much-needed peace, succour and comfort in this time of bereft. May He grant us all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss of this Great Icon for where our strength runs out, God's strength begins.

Indeed, Nigeria has lost a principled democrat, an elder statesman and a quintessentially patriotic Nigerian. Pa Alex exited the stage when the ovation was the loudest and would always stand out as a bastion of integrity and a point of reference for unborn generations.

Jee ije gị nke ọma Ide Oko!
Kachi foo, Nna anyị.

Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah
CEO, Capital Oil and Gas.
February 2, 2018.

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