President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and grief over the death of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ufot Ekaette, describing him as “a consummate administrator and bridge-builder.”
Buhari, in a condolence message issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, noted that the deceased ”dedicated himself to duty in the course of his distinguished public service.”
President Buhari said late Ekaette was “a gentleman who had given his best in the service of his country.”
He consoled the Ekaette family, the government and people of Akwa Ibom State over the death, and assured them that deceased would always be remembered for his remarkable public service record and immense contributions towards bringing peace in the once-troubled Niger Delta region.
President Buhari regretted that “His demise comes at a time when voices like his own are needed to move Nigeria forward in the face of daunting challenges.”
The President, however, said that Ekaette’s contributions would never be in vain as “The country would always appreciate and remember his great contributions.”
The President prayed God to comfort the Ekaette family, friends and relations, and grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, also condoled with the Government and People of Akwa Ibom State and in particular the family of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Ufot Ekaette, who died on Wednesday.
In his condolence message, Lawan described Chief Ekaette as a thoroughbred bureaucrat who gave his best to the service of Nigeria.
“The late Chief Ufot Ekaette was a thorough-bred bureaucrat and statesman whose meritorious service to the country cannot be over-valued,” Lawan said.
Lawan recalled Chief Ekaette’s great contribution to nation-building. He joined the Federal Civil Service in 1964 and served in several federal ministries and agencies before becoming the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and later the first Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
He said the Nigerian public service benefited from the tremendous expertise, dedication and commitment of the late SGF, urging civil servants to emulate the late bureaucrat.
The Senate President prayed to God to give the family and the nation the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.