18 or 19 days after the demise of former Vice president, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, a scenario seems to be playing out in London, Abuja and Okoh community, following strong indications that the federal government may have abandoned clearing medical bills and returning the body of the fallen former Vice President, late Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme.
Besides, nothing is being heard about any form of state burial or flying his body back in the first instance.
Former Vice President, Chief, Dr. Barr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme (GCON), who was born on October 21, 1932, died on November 19, this year from coma at a London Hospital he was taken to by the Federal Government.
He had been in the coma at an Anambra State hospital before the government decided to attend to his health challenges. He served Nigeria with President Shehu Shagari from 1979 to 1983.
Business Hilights South East Bureau Chief gathered that the family and mainly the Oko Community in Anambra State may soon break silence on why government had kept mute on his body return and burial plans hence by law as a former VP, should be accorded state burial.
Already, the Anambra State chapter of the Campiagn for Democracy (CD), has accused the Federal Government of contributing to the death of the Nigeria’s Second Republic Vice President, and warned that it should take responsibility for his death.
CD through its National Publicity Secretary and chairman, South East Zone, Dede Uzor A. Uzor alleged that the Federal Government of Nigeria flew Late Dr Ekwueme to London when his health condition got stabilized in Nigeria and subsequently abandoned him to his fate and he allegedly became frustrated and died there.
CD noted that “The Secretary to the Federal Government of Nigeria, SGF, made a press statement that Federal Government would not take the responsibility of the medical bills of late Dr Ekwueme, forgetting that he was a former Vice President of Nigeria.
“By the virtue of Section 180 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigerian, as amended, his medical bills must be taken care of by the Nigerian Government. So, when the former Vice President heard that his bills were not going to footed by the government, he felt disappointed by a country he labored for and collapsed and died; that was what led to his death. He died as a result of Federal Government’s abandonment.
“So Federal Government of Nigeria should be blamed for his death. He was a man who had been taking care of himself since he left office, very content and not disturbing successive governments in the country for any benefit. They should have allowed him to take care of himself like he had been doing over the years both in and outside Nigeria. Why must Federal Government get involved this time, only to abandon him where they had taken him and allowed him to die there?”
According to CD, “we are not talking about immortalizing Dr Ekwueme, that is another different thing, how can you allow somebody to die for an ill health that can easily be cured and you want to immortalize him, if you say you cannot take care of somebody’s medical bill when he was a life, why coming back to say you will immortalize him, that is an insult to the entire Igbo race.”
“The Federal government must take full responsibility and blame for the death of Dr Alex Ekwueme, and if they fail to accept full responsibility and blame of the death of the former vice President of Nigeria, at the expiration of 21 day from Monday, CD will mobilize Nigerians and the like minds to protest against the present Nigerian Federal Government.
“Personally as the National Publicity Secretary, and Chairman of CD in the South East Zone, at the expiration of the 21 days, I will go into hunger strike from 6am to 6pm daily, and will take a particular strategic position to embark on the hunger strike, while I will also address a press conference to give those people who are in Aso Rock a message that is high time they start realizing that those who served Nigeria meritoriously deserves our respect, protection and care.
“If you tell a man who is coma that you are not going to take care of him, when he rightly deserve that right, what do you call marginalization, this is one of the things the Igbos are agitating against, it will not continue if this country must be one.”