2 March 2012

Nigeria: Ojukwu Buried With Full Military Honours

Ex-Biafra leader Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was buried on Friday with full military honours in his country home in Nnewi, Anambra.

Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who died in London on Nov. 26, 2011, was flown into the country earlier in the week and his body taken round the five South Eastern states.

His burial was witnessed by President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, Patience, the governors of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River, Delta, Ondo and Kaduna states, as well as other top government officials and politicians.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubike Ihejirika, read a funeral oration, while the Catholic Bishop of Nnewi, Most Rev. Gregory Ochiagha, presided over a requiem mass for the departed ex-soldier.

Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the day began on a fast note with people moving in groups, working, chatting and organising.

The presence of armed security men from the army, the police and the civil defence was prominent as members of the army band rehearsed the National Anthem and the parade over and over.

Emeka Jnr, the oldest son of the deceased, came out at 9 a.m. to greet the various groups and receive dignitaries as both the old and the young came out en masse to pay their last respects to the late Odumegwu-Ojukwu .

The military led out the corpse at 9:30 a.m., the casket draped in National colours with his sword, shoes and cap sitting atop the casket.

A flute sang tunes in Igbo eulogising the late Igbo leader.

Extended family members wore colourful dresses with the late Dim's picture boldly emblazoned.

Jonathan and the First Lady arrived by 10:38 a.m., paid their respects and were ushered into the main house to see the widow, Bianca.

Ihejirika, the Chief of Army Staff, also paid his respects along with other army officers. NAN

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