Second republic Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, has collapsed and is currently at the Intensive Care Unit of Memfys Hospital for Neurosurgery, by Penok petrol station in Trans-Ekulu, Enugu State.
The PUNCH learnt on Tuesday night that Ekwueme collapsed around 2am last Saturday, at his residence in Independence Layout, Enugu.
The development comes barely 10 days (October 10) after he celebrated his 85th birthday.
Family members close to our correspondent said that the former vice-president went into coma soon after he collapsed.
“He was trying to get something from the table when he suddenly collapsed and immediately someone raised the alarm, we proceeded to revive him while cautious enough not to attract neighbours,” a relative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
He added, “When it became obvious that he had lapsed into coma, we rushed him to a hospital (unnamed) in GRA (Government Reserved Area), but we were referred to Memphys Hospital by medical consultants who had critically examined his condition.”
The source said that the family chose to keep the incident secret for a while with the hope that Ekwueme would “miraculously” come out of coma.
“When there was no sign of improvement on Monday afternoon, we rallied round and informed the former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, who is like a son, and he has been making plans to fly him overseas,” the source added.
Medical personnel at Memphys Hospital said that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State broke down in tears on seeing Ekwueme at the Intensive Care Unit on Tuesday evening.
Although the governor’s visit was enshrouded in secrecy so as not to attract the prying eyes of the media and residents in the state, it was gathered that he could not hide his emotions as he wailed uncontrollably.
“My namesake, Ifeanyichukwu, do not leave us now! Even if you must go, please wait to see your daughter become the deputy governor of Anambra State before you leave us,” Ugwuanyi was reported to have wailed at the ICU.
The PUNCH recalls that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the November18 poll in Anambra State, Oseloka Obaze, had presented the first daughter of Ekwueme, Lady Chidi Onyemelukwe, as his running mate.