The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaze Ndigbo, has urged the governors of the South-east states and other prominent Igbos to participate actively in the burial of its late leader, Ambassador Ralph Uwechue. Uwechue the former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo died on March 13 at the National Hospital Abuja. He was aged 79.
A statement issued by Chief Tony Oganah, the spokesman of the organisation and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) stated that there was need for all Igbos to give the late Uwechue the honour he deserved. The statement was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria yesterday in Lagos. “We are not pleased by the response of some Igbo leaders to the planning of activities to mark the final burial rites of this great Igbo son,” Oganah said.
He said some Igbo leaders including some governor of the South-east had yet to give the needed support to the family and Ohaneze over the planned burial.
He said in spite of attempts by Ohaneze to ensure the deceased envoy was given a befitting burial, some prominent Ndigbos had yet to respond several attempts to reach them. Oganah urged all lovers of the Igbo cause and nation to come out enmasse and give the late Igbo leader a befitting burial. “Uwechue remains the only Ohaneze leader to have led the organisation for four years,” he said.
The burial activities for the late ambassador would kick off on May 5 in Abuja and end on May 9 and 10 at his home town, Ogwashi Uku, Delta State.
A career diplomat and former ambassador of Nigeria in Libya, Uwechue joined the Nigerian Foreign Service at its inception in 1960.
He served in a number of other countries, including Cameroun, Pakistan and Mali.
He was also Nigeria’s first diplomatic envoy to France, where he opened the Nigerian Embassy in Paris in 1966.