The National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Dr. Victor Oye, on Tuesday said the late Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme, deserves more than N1bn burial budget from the Federal Government.
Oye’s reaction came following the assertion by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, that President Muhammadu Buhari had expended about N1bn on Ekwueme from the day the Federal Government took over his medical bills to date.
Ngige said the amount covered roads rehabilitation in Anambra State and neighbouring communities of Abia and Imo states, and sundry expenses.
Speaking with our correspondent at Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State on Tuesday, Oye described the late Ekwueme as a man of means who, on his own, achieved greatness.
He said, “What is N1bn to Ekwueme? He deserved more than that.
“Ekwueme is worth more than N100bn by his personal achievements. He was a rich man by every definition.
“If I were the Federal Government, I wouldn’t have pronounced the figure because Ekwueme deserved more than that. He deserved a befitting burial for what he did for this country.
“He was a detribalised Nigerian; wealthy but humble.”
Describing Ekwueme as the highest ranking Igbo man that ever existed since after the civil war of 1967-1970, Oye said, “Nigerians yet unborn would remember this great man because his contributions to national development were immense.”
The APGA leader suggested three ways the late VP could be immortalised: by naming a street at the capital territory, Abuja, after him; setting up a foundation in memory of him; and naming of a federal university after him.
He commended President Buhari and the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, for their efforts in ensuring that Ekwueme is given befitting burial on Friday.