The governors of the former Eastern Nigeria regional governments comprising Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Imo, Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi will converge on Friday February 24, 2012 at the Rivers State House of Assembly Auditorium for a lecture on the “life and times” of late Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
Briefing the press on Tuesday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Honourable Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Hon. Nwogu Boms who is representing Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at the Central burial committee of the late war Lord said the lecture which will be given by Chief Audu Ogbe, the former PDP National Chairman and chaired by the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili is the Rivers State contribution in the whole burial arrangement and called on all and sundry to come and pay their last respect to the national hero.
Dignitaries to be expected at the gathering are members of the Ojukwu family led by Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, his widow, Ndigbo resident in Rivers and Bayelsa states are also expected at the occasion with their cultural dancers. Since the burial announcement was made public different state governments and Igbo communities, MASSOB members as well as youth organizations have been organizing one function or the other to pay their last respect to the People’s General. At Zungeru, Niger State where the late Ojukwu was born it was a beehive of activities throughout last week.
Owerri, the Imo State capital will be hosting theirs next week Wednesday 29th February 2012, while Aba the Enyimba city will not only host theirs but will have the privilege of having their heroes’ corpse in their midst accordingly to the IKemba’s last wish at the heart land of the Igbo nation.
Igbo community in Bayelsa and Rivers State will be hosting theirs on Thursday March 1st, 2012 while the grand finale will be on Saturday March 2, 2012 at Nnewi, Anambra State, his hometown.
While the activities of the burial are going on, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has rejected the title of “IKemba II” conferred on Emeka Ojukwu (Jnr) by the traditional ruler of Nawfia, Igwe Chijoke Nwankwo at a ceremony in his palace Nawfia in Njikoka LGA of Anambra State last week.
MASSOB argued that the title was conferred on the senior Ojukwu because of his exploits during the civil war and especially his sacrifices for the emancipation of the Igbo race, arguing that it was not hereditary.
Though the first son of Ojukwu, Sylvester had disclosed when contacted through the phone that it was their father’s wish for Emeka to take the title. This, however, is a singular wish from the war lord that might cause ripple among his people.
However, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr. a replica of his father had this to say after the installation “I am elated, I am honoured, it is a great day and at the same time a sad one because my father is not here. My father was a loving man and a great teacher. He made a lot of sacrifices for Ndigbo.
“All I know is that I will try my best not to let him down”, he affirmed.
The defacto leader of Ndigbo, Ralph Uwazuruike had earlier been conferred with the title Eze Igbo gburugburu II for his courage and sacrifices for the Igbo race. He had also been making some policy statements and exhibited signs of a worthy successor.
However, these conflicting titles to both Uwazuruike and Ojukwu Jnr, many fear would not augur well for the Igbo race especially now that a respectable and experienced leader with a vision have to show the way out of the pogrom against the Igbos repeating itself from the Northern part of Nigeria.
By Joe Kalu