Igbo leaders have inaugurated a National Burial Committee, headed by Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, for the interment of late Chukwuwemeka Ezeife, a former governor of Anambra, amidst calls for return of peace to the South-East region.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, called on Igbo people to unite and move the South East Region forward just like Ezeife was doing before his death.
Kalu said that Ezeife was a man of peace who did not believe in violence or using social vices to protest injustice.
He called on those using violence to disrupt the development of the Eastern region to stop and embrace the Igbo spirit of oneness, a major legacy Ezeife stood for.
“Ezeife was a great man who sacrificed for the Igbo tribe.
“He believed in a South East of peace and unity.
“He did not stand for the killing and destruction as is currently the case in the region.
“He believed in dialogue and the spirit of oneness.
“So we will use his burial to tell Nigerians that Igbo people are united,” he said.
Kalu pledged that those in the National Assembly would solidly support the committee.
“Whenever you need us, we are available. We will not abandoned you,” he said.
The Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Chief Edozie Ezeugwa, described late Ezeife as a warrior with extraordinary heart for the people advocating for the poor.
Ezeugwa called on citizens to live their lives in service to humanity bearing in mind that one day they would leave the earth and would be remembered by how they lived.
“Ezeife touched so many lives and left a good legacy. His death is a reminder that some day we will all go,” he said.
Dr Ifedi Okwenna, Secretary and Head of Secretariat, National Burial Committee (NBC), presenting members of the committee, said they were drawn from all walks-of-life.
Okwenna also said that Ezeife was a man of peace who cohabited with people from different regions, parties, religion and tribe.
“As you can see today, the life he lived is reflected in the calibre of people in this committee.
“We have people from different parties and so many friends and families because he was a man given to brotherhood and love,” he said.
Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Former governor of Enugu State, said that the committee would give Ezeife the kind of burial he deserved.
Nwodo said that the committee would make a statement with Ezeife’s burial to portray the spirit of oneness among Igbo people.
“This is the Igbo spirit we want to celebrate, we want to show Nigerians that Igbo people are united.
“We are determined, we have the vision and we know that the statement we want to make would be achieved and you will all be proud to be Igbo people,” he said.
Nwodo assured of the committee’s commitment to make the burial a success by delivering quality service.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inauguration ceremony was attended by people from different political parties across Nigeria.