North America

Nigeria: Ojukwu Begins Final Journey

ojukwu-chukwuemekaFormer Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, who died in the early hours of 26 November, 2011, has begun his final journey home.

A national funeral committee consisting eminent personalities has been constituted.

Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, a retired judge of the Supreme Court and Senator Uche Chukwumerije are the chairman and deputy chairman of the committee respectively, while Professor A.B.C. Nwosu is the secretary.

Activities lined up for the late Eze Igbo Gburugburu’s final journey home began on 14 January, 2012 and will end on Friday, 3 February with the lying in state, requiem mass, interment and post-interment vigil at the Eze Igbo’s compound, Nnewi, Anambra State.

On Thursday, 26 January, there will be songs, reminiscences and tributes in Calabar to remember Ojukwu as military governor of former Eastern Nigeria.

Saturday, 28 January, traditional solemn mourning procession commences in Igbo communities nationwide.

The traditional ceremony continues on Sunday, 29 January in state capitals in the southeast such as Awka, Abakaliki, Enugu, Umuahia, Owerri and other towns in the region.

Requiem Mass holds at St. George Cathedral, London, as well as Igbo rites before his corpse departs to Abuja on Monday, 30 January.

The body arrives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Monday, 30 January where a brief prayer session will hold and a reception by Ohaneze, Abuja will follow.

Thereafter, the body departs Abuja for Owerri Airport en route Aba where some ceremonies and reception by Imo state government will hold at Owerri.

Tuesday, 31 January, body departs Owerri to Enugu where a vigil holds at 5 p.m. and on Wednesday, 1 February the ceremony continues at Calabar and Enugu where pre-funeral processions hold.

There will also be funeral activities day and night.

The Nnamidi Azikiwe International Stadium, Enugu will host choral groups.

Delegation from the states across the country arrive for the final funeral ceremony which commences in full on Thursday, 2 February.

In the afternoon the body departs to Akwa where a ‘peoples reception’ holds at Alex Ekwueme Square. By 5 p.m, the body moves to Nnewi.

The Nnewi community will host a reception at the Nnewi-Nnobi border and the day’s ceremonies will be rounded off with an all night vigil at the Eze Igbo compound, Nnewi from 11 a.m to 1.30 p.m on Friday, 3 February.

From 2 p.m to 4.30 p.m, there will be a Requiem Mass at Nnewi followed by interment at 5 p.m. and an all night post-interment vigil same day.

Ojukwu, aged 78, died in a London hospital after a protracted battle with stroke and heart related diseases.

He was reported to be on life support machine throughout the time he was flown abroad in December, 2010.

—Bayo Adetu & Moyo Fabiyi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.