The family of former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme has described Shehu Shagari as an epitome of high moral leadership who served Nigeria without any blemish.
Ekwueme, who died on November 19, 2017, was vice-president under Shagari between 1979 and 1983.
In a statement signed by Goodheart Ekwueme, the former vice president’s first son, the family said Shagari had the most cordial working relationship with Ekwueme and both had greater hearts of service for the nation.
“They were more nationalistic in their work relation and even though they both had different religious backgrounds, they were not polarised by the issues of religion and tribe. They were first and foremost Nigerians before Christians or Muslims, Fulani or Igbo. They were both selfless,” the statement read.
The family said Shagari demonstrated his humility in his message, through his son Aminu Shagari, to the family at Ekwueme’s burial, where he said he chose Ekwueme as his deputy because of his impeccable integrity and character.
“I’m not here to give undeserved praises on Ekwueme, whatever I say here I have told him so in his life,” Shagari was quoted to have said through his son.
“Death is a certainty and we will all face it one day. I chose him because he came across as a man of impeccable integrity and character.
“We worked harmoniously because we had the same vision. He was a deputy I trusted and mischief makers could not drive a wedge between us.”
Shagari died on Friday in Abuja and was laid to rest in Sokoto on Saturday.