By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—FOLLOWING the unkempt nature of the multi-million naira Zik’s mausoleum built by the Federal Government in Onitsha in honour of the late first President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, has urged the federal authorities to hand over its management to Anambra State government.
The monarch, who made the demand after inspection of the mausoleum by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, observed that the edifice was just a solitary building, adding that passers-by only notice a building overgrown with grass there.
He told the minister: “I understand that you expected us, the host community, to do something about Zik’s Mausoleum. We, therefore, want to say hand it over to us and we will take care of it.
“We will generate international awareness that will make the mausoleum a place of pride for all Nigerians.”
Fashola explained that Governor Willie Obiano had also spoken on the willingness of the state government to take over the management of the mausoleum.
According to him, the transfer of the management would bridge the gap of the ownership the Federal Government had been looking for.
Fashola said: “I visited the mausoleum on the directive of Mr. President, who is interested in seeing that it is well managed.
“I recall that immediately after the commissioning, Mr. President approved that a management committee be set up to manage it, so that it does not go into disuse.
“The members were drawn mainly from the indigenous community and the national museums and monuments and from the family of the late president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.”
According to him, there were still few things to be put in place at the mausoleum, reminding Nigerians that Zik “belongs to all of us and we must see to it that his final resting place is kept most appropriate and in the best condition.”