BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI-A week long activities for burial of late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, has been lined up by Imo State government.
Giving a rundown of the activities yesterday, the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Mr. Benjamin Uwajimogu, said the Vice Chancellor of Imo State University, IMSU, Prof Bertram Nwoke, would deliver the first inaugural lecture in honour of the departed hero.
“The first Ikemba Nnewi inaugural lecture titled “Effective leadership in the 21st century”, will be delivered by the IMSU-VC, Prof Bertram Nwoke,” Uwajimogu said.
He also disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan has approved that the departed Igbo hero be given full military burial rites, adding that any arrangement put together by any state, would be subsumed into the national programme.
The speaker also said the House had instituted what he called “Imo Merit Award”, adding that Ojukwu was the first beneficiary of the award.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has called on residents of Aba, Abia State, to receive the body of the late Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu en masse on February 28.
Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who died in a London hospital on November 26, 2011, is slated to be taken to the Abia commercial hub to fulfil one of his life ambitions.
MASSOB’s Director of Information, Mr Uchenna Madu, told newsmen on Tuesday in Aba that the late Ikemba Nnewi personally wished that his remains be brought to Aba before burial.
Madu urged the residents of Aba to come out en masse “to pay their last respect to the Eze Ndigbo Gburugburu.
“It was the personal wish of Ojukwu. He said that whenever he will be buried that he should be taken to Aba. That is why MASSOB has kept this wish to honour the great hero.”
Meanwhile, Abia chapter of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, is organising a concert and a hero’s candle light vigil for Odumegwu-Ojukwu on February 27 at the Aba Recreation Club.
Prince Nnanna Ukaegbu, the Chairman of the chapter, told newsmen in Aba on Monday that the event was part of its activities to receive Ojukwu’s remains on February 28.
In another development, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has assured the people that a befitting burial had been organised for the late Biafran leader. Odumegwu-Ojukwu is slated to be buried on March 2 in Nnewi, Anambra.
Mr Ugochukwu Emezue, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, quoted him in a statement as saying that the South-East governors planned a befitting programme to celebrate the exit of the legend.