Ekwueme in The Eyes of Jimi Disu

Veteran journalist, Jimi Disu said the following about late Alex Ekwueme on Classic FM during their newspaper review, Front Page News:

I feel sad that Ekwueme is gone. He was a fine gentleman that was not put to good use by this country. You hardly find among the political class today the pedigree of Alex Ekwueme. He had a degree in Philosophy, History, Sociology, Law, Architecture and City Planing. He had a thriving Architectural Practice before he decided to go into politics.

When the coup took place, something very significant happened that I will never forget. Ekwueme and Shagari were captured by the Army. Shagari was put in one nice and comfortable guest house and Alex Ekwueme was put in prison and no charge was brought against him. In spite of that, he still carried on with dignity, he did not show any undue bitterness. That incidence alone was significant. Ironically, it was the same Buhari that carried out the coup that is now the President.
Something tells me if Ekwemen had been the President in 1983, we wouldn’t have been in this mess. Ekwueme had always carried himself with the dignity expected of a well educated somebody. He was highly instrumental to the formation of the PDP. He did not jump boat, he never contemplated of going to APGA or any other party. He stuck on to PDP even during the crisis. He kept his nose clean, he had his faults though but he represented something I can identify with.

“The legacies of the likes of him are not what are being exhibited by the younger folks. It appeared the younger politicians have learnt absolutely no lesson from the dignity the likes of Alex Ekwueme applied to politics.

For example, when I remember his own generation and those slightly before him, the contributions they made to the political landscape, in terms of men, money and material; now instead of putting men of caliber in positions, this generation of politicians will only put their cousins and in-laws there. Alex put down his own money and time for politics, I have not seen anywhere his hands were found in the cookie jar. Even though the NPN at that time was accused of serious corruption, I don’t remember if Alex Ekwueme was ever indicted of anything.

“But what do we have with this current generation? Rather than put themselves forward for sacrifice, they go clear everything in sight and impoverish the whole nation. Before Ekwueme, the like of the late Mrs Von who knew the value of land she had on Awolowo road, she donated it willingly so that we could have School of Nursing there. What has this generation of politicians done? If we had not made noise on the property, probably, what you will find there now is a 5-star hotel.

We thank God, it is lying desolate there overgrown by weeds. Instead, the current politicians are acquiring government property in sight and when things go awry, they use the book against you. The sad part of it is that majority of us continue to follow this people into our own oblivion.

I wonder when Alex Ekwueme was crossing the bridge between life and death, looking back, what his inner feelings were about what he was living behind. I would have loved if Ekwueme had taken a trip to Okorocha’s Imo and asked him, ‘what are you doing with these statues?.

I will like that whatever is left of Alex Ekwueme’s generation, rather than sit at the metropolitan club, the Yoruba Tennis Club or Island Club and complain about the country. Rather than complaining, I think it is time that this generation got up with the values that they have learned from the likes of Ekwueme and salvage this nation.

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