The Federal Polytechnic, Oko, in Anambra, has urged the Federal Government to immortalize the first Vice President of the country, the late Dr Alex Ekwueme, for his selfless service to the nation.
The polytechnic’s spokesman, Mr Obini Onuchukwu, made the institution’s position known in a statement in Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra on Wednesday.
Onuchukwu said that the management, on behalf of the governing council and the entire polytechnic community, expressed shock over the news of the demise of Ekwueme, who founded the polytechnic in 1979 as College of Arts and Science.
According to him, immortalizing Ekwueme in acknowledgment of his major role in the nation’s democracy, will serve as a “pat on the back” and a source of encouragement to the community.
The institution noted that Ekwueme would be remembered for his fatherly role and efforts in attracting development to the polytechnic.
“The late icon will also be remembered for his political strength in the entire South-East zone and Nigeria as a whole.
“The news of his demise, which is grievously shocking, has thrown the entire polytechnic community into mourning, especially as the history of the institution can never be told without the name of the late patriarch being mentioned.
“As a true nationalist, late Ekwueme formulated many political ideologies to advance the country.
“His love for his people in particular and the nation in general, gave rise to what is today known as the Federal Polytechnic, Oko.
“We are saddened by the news of his transition at the age of 85 because his wise counsel and tutelage will be greatly missed.
“We have lost a great man. We have lost a father. We have lost a political giant.
“We are in deep shock that it happened at a time like this when growing politicians needed to tap more from the wealth of experience and knowledge of the former Vice President.
“On a different note, the death is also a celebration of a rare gem because the former vice president lived a fulfilled life and laid a good foundation which we all enjoy today.”
He described Ekwueme as “one of the older generation elder statesmen who lived a peace loving life and a man of courage; and we will miss him so much”.
The institution prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Meanwhile, the polytechnic has opened a condolence register at the institution’s administrative office as a mark of respect for the founder of the institution.