Former Vice President of Nigeria, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, has died at the age of 85 in a London Hospital, The Trent can confirm. The elder statesman died on Sunday, November 19, 2017 in the night.
A close relative confirm this development to our correspondent in the early hours of Monday.
In addition, Dr. Ekwueme’s brother and the traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra State, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, said the former Vice President, died by 10:00pm in a London clinic, on Sunday.
In an e-mailed statement to The Trent, he said: “Ekwueme family regrets to announce the peaceful passing away of their patriarch, the former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON.
“The sad event occurred at the London Clinic at 10:00 pm on Sunday 19th November 2017.”
The octogenarian, was the first elected Vice-President of Nigeria, in office from 1979 to 1983.
He slumped in his Enugu residence shortly after returning from a family cruise celebrating his birthday, and was immediately taken to the Memfys Neurosurgery Hospital Enugu, where he relapsed and went into coma.
As soon as he was stabilised in the hospital he was flown to London in an air ambulance last week.
Ekwueme who was deputy to President Shehu Shagari were ousted in a coup staged by present President Muhammadu Buhari who was then an army general in 1984.
He attended the University of London; King’s College; Lagos, Nigerian Law School; University of Strathclyde, University of Washington.
He is the Ide of the Oko kingdom in Anambra State, where his younger brother, Lazarus, is the traditional ruler.
He was also honoured by the Council of Traditional Rulers in the old Aguata as the Ide of Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State comprising forty-four (44) towns.
Ekwueme was a distinguished architect who started his professional career as an assistant architect with a Seattle-based firm, Leo A. Daly and Associates, and also with the London-based firm Nickson and Partners.
He worked briefly with ESSO West Africa, Lagos, overseeing the construction and maintenance department.
He founded Ekwueme Associates, Architects, and Town Planners, the first indigenous architectural firm in Nigeria.
Before he was flown to London for treatment, reports said he had died but the family refuted the fake news that he had passed on in London.
The family said Ekwueme is alive, stable and responding to treatment, quoting an official of Memfys Neuro-surgical Hospital in Enugu, has said.
A close family source told The Trent that ”Ekwueme is still in Memfys Hospital”, even though President Muhammadu Buhari has “ordered” he should be flown abroad for better care.
Also officials of the hospital said he was recovering and doing well. “People should not spread false information. The family members are always here,” the official said.
Ekwueme, was later flown abroad for further medical treatment.
The elder statesman departed the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, around 8:30 a.m last Sunday in a white air ambulance with registration number N605AJ.
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