Thursday, September 10, 2015

Zik’s Son’s Burial: Gov Obiano, Obi of Onitsha Frustrate Buhari's Plans For a Befitting Burial.

The attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari to give Owelie Chukwuma Azikiwe, first son of Nigeria's first President, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe a befitting burial had run into stormy waters as the trio of Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, HRH Alfred Achebe, Obi of Onitsha and Ambassador Emeka Azikiwe (Owelle's sibling) had fixed an impromptu burial aimed at ensuring that Buhari's presence is frustrated.

The stance of the trio had caused great tension within the Azikiwe family and Onitsha leaders that some groups had vowed to boycott the burial slated for Saturday, 12th of September, 2015, if efforts to get Buhari in physical attendance is deliberately frustrated.

Speaking with Rev Obinna Akukwe, Director General, Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) over the crisis, the youngest brother of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Akunne Ara Azikiwe decried the burial fixed for the 12th as "an attempt to bury the late Owelle like a fowl in order to punish him in death for his friendship with Buhari".

The Spiritual Head of the Azikiwe family and oldest family member, Nwamulunamma Onuora Azikiwe, who also is the Chief Mourner, has distanced himself from the burial slated for saturday. Speaking to leaders of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) today, he said that the family will not attend any burial that deliberately intends to exclude Buhari and the Federal Government from active participation.

The President of Umuada Azikiwe (representing elderly women of the Azikiwe clan), Chief Mrs Chiago Iwuobi (nee Azikiwe) had also distanced the Umuada from the impromptu burial. Umuada Azikiwe on Tuesday last week led by Chief Mrs Iwuobi protested at Governors Lodge Awka with a strongly worded letter to the governor, delivered to both the Secretary to the State Government and the Chief of Staff, distancing the family from the purported burial. Copies of the letter made available to Igbo Mandate Congress made it clear that the governor should allow Buhari to lead in the preparations for the event.

Yesterday the women also protested at Onisi Onira residence of the great Zik over the involvement of Ambassador Emeka Azikiwe in the shadow affair.

The Assistant National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Chairman of Igbo-Ohanaeze Integrity Groups, Barrister Emejulu Okpalaukwu described the plot as an attempt to ensure that president Buhari does not have any foothold in the South East. Okpalaukwu told Rev Akukwe that "agents of divisive tendencies whose antecedents have always put Ndigbo in unnecessary battles with their neighbors are at work again to sabotage President Buhari's effort to give Azikiwe's son a befitting burial".

The Personal Assistant to the late Owelle, Mr Chukwuma Njaka have also distanced himself from the burial, describing it as activities of disgruntled politicians about to dishonor his boss over his principled stance on national issues. He told Rev Akukwe that President Buhari had wanted to turn Zik's Masoleum into a national institute and wondered why he is being frustrated.

Meanwhile the Director General of Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) Rev Obinna Akukwe had described efforts to frustrate President Buhari from attending the burial of the late Owelle as not helping Igbo Interests. Speaking to concerned friends of Owelle yesterday, at Onitsha, Rev Akukwe said that "Buhari is only interested in honoring a friend ,confidant and nationalist who shares same ideals and Spartan lifestyle with him, and I expect Igbo leaders to use the occasion to present a wish list to the President, instead of unending criticism.

"The same people who abandoned Owelle over the years, suddenly picked interest because a Fulani born President wanted to honor an abandoned kinsman" He condemned the removal of Owelle's corpse from the morgue into a hidden location, by those afraid of the dead, against the consent of his biological sons, the umuada's and the umunna's and called for the physical auditing of the remains before any burial.

AbleMoJah® Nigeria.

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