Ojukwu’s burial: Committee unveils program of events

Today February 9th, 2012, the final burial plan for the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has been released by members of the committee, with activities programmed to take place in all parts of the country and oversea.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Vice-Chairman of the burial committee, Senator Uche Chukwumerije stated that due to Ojukwu’s status, his burial was planned to have a national outlook, most importantly, as prominent people from all parts of the country insisted that they should not be left out of the burial.

He also stated that social and political groups such as the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), as well as intellectual bodies would all be integrated into the events and would be welcomed without inhibitions.

The program, which commenced formally yesterday with the mounting of billboards in all strategic places in the country, has all the states in the old Eastern Region firmly represented and playing active role in the burial.
Chukwumerije made known at the briefing that youth bodies in the South-east states would commence the Icho Mmadu (looking for the deceased) in every part of the zone to bring up the tempo of the burial to the hinterland and the nooks and crannies of the country.

Speaking further, Chukwumerije said special prayer for Nigeria and justice for Ndigbo and other groups in the country would be held on Sunday, while Icho Mmadu would be held in Zungeru, where Ojukwu was born and in Abidjan, where he took refuge after the Civil War. “There would be similar programs in Kaduna and Accra, while people in Abidjan and citizens in the Diaspora would also carry out their activities on Wednesday, just as same program would take place in Makurdi, Benue State, Kano, Calabar, Kano, Uyo, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Lagos, Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Aba, Enugu, Awka and Nnewi, at dates between February 14 and 25.

“The remains of the foremost Igbo personality would arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on February 27, where a program tagged Onye Ije Nnoo (welcome home) would be held, while the body would depart immediately to major towns in the South-east, for further funeral ceremonies. “The final journey for the Eze Igbo Gburu Gburu, would take place with a national funeral ceremony on February 29, with series of activities going on simultaneously in Awka and Nnewi, while the interment would take place on March 2, in Nnewi, according to the Nnewi customs and traditions,” Chukwumerije stated.

Chukwumerije, who said he was representing Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, who is the chairman of the committee, explained that though the Federal Government was yet to make known to the committee, its level of involvement in the burial, it had received assurances from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim of the government’s full participation in the burial.

He explained that though the earlier burial programs were disrupted by the nationwide fuel subsidy strikes, the “activities lined up for his burial will progressively increase in scale and intensity as the interment date draws closer.”
While saying that the program he reeled out was the outcome of the agreement reached with the family and Nnewi traditional institution, Chukwumerije said: “There will be all sorts of people coming to the South-east and particularly, to Enugu and Nnewi at that period. They are all welcome. We expect MASSOB, social and youth groups, masquerade groups, as well as other groups. And all of them are welcome.

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