Organisers of the NCC Tennis League have revealed that this year’s final, scheduled for tomorrow at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club Onikan, Lagos, will pay special tribute to late former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme.
According to the organisers, the former vice president was a great supporter of the NCC Tennis League and attended the two editions of the grand finale as the special guest of honour.
They revealed that he was expected not only to attend this third edition, but also to sponsor, for the 2018 edition, a team in his name to be located at the Enugu Sports Club, where he was a life patron.
Part of the tribute, made available to The Guardian, reads: “The passing on to eternal glory of an outstanding gentleman, a legendary achiever, a voracious academic and more importantly for us, an unbelievable tennis lover, came at the worst possible time for tennis in Nigeria.
“Coming about a month to the grand finale of the 2017 NCC Tennis League where he was supposed to be a special guest of honour for the third time and when plans were afoot to start a Team Ekwueme to be domiciled at the Enugu Sports Club where he is a life patron, his demise really hurt.
However, his outstanding achievements packed in 85 years of a positively restless and exemplary life can only motivate and inspire those who love him.”
The tribute recounts the various academic certificates acquired by Ekwueme, including academic degrees in architecture and urban development, sociology, history, philosophy and law, as well as a PhD. in Architecture.
It adds: “How can anyone go through the cesspit of Nigerian politics, get to be vice president (the second highest office in the land) and come out without a stain? For example, Sir Alex Ekwueme wound up his business empire with more than 16 offices across Nigeria in preparation for assuming office as the first executive vice president of Nigeria.
“Unfortunately tennis in Nigeria is one of the big losers because his love for the sport was unbelievable. He had a tennis court in his country home and was still playing the game until his demise.