…CORPSE TO REMAIN IN LONDON
The corpse of the late Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu will remain in London for security reasons until his burial arrangements are concluded.
National Chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, dropped the hint yesterday, shortly after signing the condolence register at the Enugu residence of the Ikemba Nnewi. He explained that the decision to keep Ojukwu's corpse in London pending the conclusion of his burial arrangements was taken at the various meetings on the late icon held in London and Nigeria.
Umeh who arrived Nigeria from London yesterday, said that their subsequent meetings would also consider whether Ojukwu's body would be buried or embalmed in a mausoleum so that people visit the place to see the body of the 'greatest Igboman that ever lived.'
He disclosed that the meetings held in London and Nigeria required that more consultations be made before a burial date is fixed.
The APGA boss, however, stressed that the rites for Ojukwu would commence immediately the body 'is brought home', adding that the resolve to keep his corpse in London was also to ensure that it was properly taken care of.
' Well I came in from London this morning and it is very clear to you that the burial of Ojukwu is not just like any other burial. Certainly, in this part of the world, he is a man that so many people are interested in his burial rites. So, extensive consultations will take place. But you know that having left us in the physical realm, his body must be committed to mother earth.
' He was a Christian, a catholic and he will also receive a catholic burial as well , the short meetings we had in London and the ones they have had at home here require that more consultation will be made before a final date for his burial will take place, we have also in the interest of security decided that the corpse will remain in England until when we are ready with all the arrangements' he said.
Umeh also stated that Ojukwu,s former colleagues in Epson College in London had indicated their interest to participate in the burial, adding that his widow would return from London next Saturday while his children will return today.
'We can't understand where we are going from here , I don't know what will happen to his position in Igboland
' We don't need to immortalise Ojukwu again. Ojukwu is already immortalised in the hearts of the people he fought for. He will never die,' he said.
Umeh added that President Goodluck Jonathan, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), among others would be involved in the burial arrangements.