Alex Ekwueme: The Nigerian Believer
Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme was born on this day in 1932. Owing to his exceptional brilliance in Kings College, Lagos, he became one of Nigeria’s first recipient of the Fulbright scholarship in the US. He proceeded to the University of Washington where he graduated with a degree in Architecture and city planning.
He went on to earn degrees in sociology, history, philosophy and law from the University of London. Thereafter, he obtained a PhD from the University of Strathclyde and BL (honours) degree from the Nigerian Law School. He got a job at the Assistant Architect with Settle-based firm Leo A. Daly and Associates and later on, London-based Nickson and Partners.
Upon his return to Nigeria, he got a job at the ESSO West Africa, Lagos. Owing to the knowledge he garnered over the years, he established his own firm, Ekwueme Associates, Architects and Town Planners, the premier indigenous architectural firm in the country.
He had great success with his firm such that he had over 16 branches across the country. He later presided over the Nigerian Institute of Architects as well as several positions in publicly recognized Architectural firms in the country.
He became the first elected vice president of the country from 1979 to 1983 in the Shehu Shagari-led administration. He was notably known for his contributions towards maintaining an active Educational Trust fund for Nigerians as well as proposing the equitable sharing of power among the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The chieftaincy titleholder who received the second highest honour in Nigeria, that is, the Order of the Republic of Guinea and Nigeria died on the 19th of November 2017.
After his death, the Nigerian government renamed the Federal University, Ndufu-Ikwo in Ebonyi State after him.