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Factual Reportage

By Ijeoma John, Nnewi

The former governor of Anambra State, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, was on Saturday buried at his hometown, Igboukwu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.

Ezeife, who was Anambra State governor from January 2, 1992, to November 1993, during the aborted Third Republic, died at the Federal Medical Centre, Abuja in December 14, 2023.

During the state funeral service held in his honour, President Bola Tinubu describe the late Ezeife, as a “true son of the soil” who fought for the peace and unity of Nigeria, adding that Ezeife died at the time Nigerian needed his development ideas the more.

The President was represented at the ceremony by the governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma.

He extolled the “towering” influence of the deceased as well as his leadership credentials in Nigeria’s political landscape.

He said, “Ezeife’s towering influence and his leadership credentials helped shaped the political landscape of the country, unfortunately, he died at a time when the country needed his services the more.”

While praying for the repose of the soul of the deceased, the President encouraged his loved ones to take solace in his indelible legacy.

In his remarks, the Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, praised the late Ezeife, stressing that he lived the kind of lifestyle he was known to preach.

He noted that ‘Okwadike’ as he was fondly called during his lifetime, was a “man of integrity and credibility”.

He said, “Ezeife lived the life he preached. He did not just preach it, he lived it. Ezeife believed in the law, and that was why he held Nigeria responsible for the law.

However, Soludo, noted that the burial was not conducted in accordance with the state burial laws.

The governor condemned the printing of brochures, banners and other materials used for the burial ceremony, stating that it was against the Anambra State Burial Laws.

He stressed that the late Ezeife would not have approved of such.

Recall that in February 2024, the Anambra State Government reiterated its resolve to enforce the burial law enacted in 2019 to control the high expenditures of burial and funeral activities in the state.

Speaking on the conduct of the burial activities, Soludo said, “I must not leave without saying this, if the ‘Okwadike’ that I knew were to be alive, he would not have supported most of what is being done here today. When I got here and saw brochures printed, I said this is wrong, because it is against the Anambra State Burial Laws.

“Some people texted me asking to print some materials for the burial but I told them they don’t have waivers to do such because it is against the burial laws in Anambra state. Printing of any materials for burial in Anambra is meant to be for just one day. That is the law.

“We won’t enforce the law when a poor man dies and then overlook it when a rich man dies, no.

“I did not pass the law, the law was passed two years before I became governor of Anambra state.”

The House Member representing Aguata Federal Constituency
Hon. Engr Dominic Okafor, in -law to Ezeife’s family ,Chief Mrs Ifeyinwa Ezenwa a daughter,Hon. Onuora Nnabugo and other members of Ezeife’s family described Okwadike as a man of integrity equity and fairness who fought for the less privileged and downtrodden in society.

According to them,he left great legacy that he would be remembered for.

“Okwadike left good memories and legacies for us to deliver dividends of Democracy “they said

Dignitaries present during the ceremony include; the state governor, Chukwuma Soludo, Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Victor Umeh, Senator Ben Ndi-Obi, Senator Uche Ekwunife, traditional rulers, among others.

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