June 20, 2009

Onoh’s family rejects burial support from Enugu govt.

By Dennis Agbo

FAMILY of the late former governor of old Anambra State, Chief C.C Onoh, has returned some building material items meant for renovations at the Enugu-Ngwo ancestral home of the Onohs’, which were brought by the Enugu State government as part of the government’s support for the burial of the late sage who fought for the creation of the renovationsstate.

Onoh died last April and would be buried July 3rd.

The Enugu state government had set up a large burial committee headed by Senator Jim Nwobodo to give the late Onoh a befitting burial. But when contacted, today, Senator Nwobodo said he was not aware of the rejection development but promised to contact Vanguard as soon as he makes contacts. All the Media aides of the Enugu state Governor could not be reached as their phones were either switched off while others failed to respond to text massages.

However, the last son of the late Chief Onoh, Ken Umunnakwe Onoh confirmed that his family rejected the items because the materials came late in barely 12 days to the burial. He said he supported the return of the building materials because it was not the fault of the Nwobodo burial committee but that of the Enugu state government which he accused to have been too slow and frustrating in the burial preparations.

According to the young Ken Onoh; “Bringing materials to start working few days to the burial does not show a befitting gesture to the same man that gave every single thing to put that state in order.”

Onoh Jnr. stated that his family accepted the Enugu state government’s leading role for the burial, not because they his children could not do it themselves, but as a sign of regard for all parties involved in their late father’s death.

“But we found out that the state government was drastically slow, not only in inaugurating the burial committee but the committee cannot function in isolation. If the committee were provided for, I don’t know, but from everything on the ground they were not prepared for the burial so we the children now decided to take over the arrangements because we cannot continue to wait for the state government to do that. It does not show seriousness on the part of Enugu government.”

He said the development has however not altered any arrangement for the burial as previously planned but that the family had already purchased the same items earlier than the government brought theirs, adding that the family had carried on with the renovation works even beyond the materials that the government brought. Onoh Jnr. stated that even though Governor Sullivan Chime is presently far away in Japan, he is sure that the governor was aware of the development while he exonerated Senator Jim Nwobodo from the delay.

“We the children of Chief C. C Onoh are burying our father and we have invited people to come and grace the burial of our father. So any body coming is coming to C. C Onoh’s house to pay his last respect to C. C Onoh and we have everything, despite what the state has arranged, but as the children, we are burying our father. So any other arrangement by the state is done by the state but what we are doing is burying my father which takes place in my father’s compound and village Ngwo. Whichever one the state wants to do is fine and good.”

He dismissed the idea that the development would create a gulf between the Onoh family and Enugu state government because according to him, his family has least benefited from the state government and so problems could only arise if the family were dependant on the state government.

“It would have created a problem if we were poor and depended so much financially on the state government, then we could have basis for creating a risk but the government of Enugu state is comfortable so also is my family. Therefore, I do not think there is any risk there. Whether it is political or not is not to my own interest but the comfort is that I am happy that we can bury our father.”