Obiano Holds Mass Burial For Unclaimed Bodies Of Onitsha Fuel Tanker Victims

By James Eze
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For the residents of Obosi, a suburb of the commercial city of Onitsha, the mood was solemn on Friday as the Anambra State Government organised a mass burial for 32 unidentified and unclaimed bodies of victims of the tragic fuel tanker explosion that took place at Upper Iweka last May.

The Ceremony which commenced with a 21 gun-salute in honor of the casualties, proceeded with an inter-denominational service held at the instance of the Anglican Bishop on the Niger, the Right Reverend Owen Nwokolo.

After spells of touching Bible passages and a deep and solemn exhortations that highlighted the fickleness of life and the need for the living to reflect and ensure that they are in good standing with their creator at all times, the victims were committed to the earth in the ObosiCemetry.

Speaking at the solemn ceremony, Governor Willie Obiano explained that tissue specimen were taken from the unidentified bodies which were burnt beyond recognition in the explosion and deposited at the Onitsha General Hospital where it would be kept for a period of ten years for future investigations while a cenotaph would be built on top of the grave in the memory of the victims.

Describing the accident as a big tragedy, Governor Obiano recalled that in swift response to the incident, his administration had taken pragmatic measures to forestall a future occurrence some of which included a ban on fuel-carrying tankers and trucks from plying state roads as well as a restriction of Commercial motorcyclists from plying the major highways in the State.

Noting that his government was working in collaboration with relevant agencies to ensure safety on the state roads, the Governor urged the motoring public to imbibe safety habits and always ensure that their vehicles are in good shape before they hit the highways.

Delivering the sermon, the Right Reverend Nwokolo represented by the Archdeacon in charge of Obosi Archdeaconry, Venerable Oswald Ezekwere called on Christians to live everyday with the consciousness that everything on earth is vanity, noting that only total faith and belief in God as well as positive living can guarantee eternal life.

In his own remarks, the Chief Imam, Central Mosque, Bida Road, Onitsha, MrAbdulramanHamza representing the Muslim Community in the State, said Governor Obiano had by his decision to organize the burial, exhibited genuine humaneness and goodwill as well as his commitment towards addressing any bottlenecks that would hamper the growth of the State.

Special prayers were said for the Governor, the State and the families of the accident victims as well as for the repose of the souls of the deceased.




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