February 21, 2012

Akunyili urges FG to name 2nd Niger Bridge after Ojukwu

Enugu – Former Minister of Information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, has called on the Federal Government to name the proposed second Niger Bridge after the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu.

Akunyili made the call in Enugu on Tuesday at a memorial lecture in honour of the late Ikemba of Nnewi by the Enugu State Government.

She called on the Federal, State and Local Governments to take concrete steps to immortalise him.

“Significant structures such as the proposed second Niger Bridge should be named after Ojukwu,’’ the former minister said.

Akunyili also appealed to the Igbos to unite and keep Ojukwu’s legacies alive.

“In remembering Ojukwu’s sacrifice, I beckon on every Igbo to come together. I call for Igbo unity.

“We should also hasten to assist and rehabilitate those displaced by the unfortunate Boko Haram violence to enable them pick the pieces of their lives because Ojukwu would not have liked to see any Igbo man or woman suffer,“ she said.

Akunyili also said governors of the South Eastern states should make the lecture an annual affair and position it as an international festival.

In a message to the event, Gov. Sullivan Chime, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Amechi Okolo, said the state would do its best to ensure that Ojukwu was given a befitting burial.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee in Enugu, Mr Obiora Ike, said the state government organised the lecture as part of activities to honour the late Ikemba.

“Ojukwu deserved the honour because of his sterling qualities.

“He was able to manifest exemplary leadership and was able to stand and fight for those he had responsibility over against the background of the pogrom of the civil war,’’ he said.

He said his body would be taken to Owerri, Aba, Abakaliki and Enugu, before his burial on March 1.

The event featured tributes from dignitaries and some students of post primary and tertiary institutions in the state. (NAN)