By Stanley Nwanosike
Enugu, Jan. 21, 2023
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, has announced the burial arrangement for its late President-General (P-G), Prof. George Obiozor.
The Secretary-General of body, Amb. Okey Emuchay, announced this on Saturday, while briefing newsmen at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC)’s second emergency meeting held at the Ohanaeze National Secretariat, Enugu.
Emuchay said that the late diplomat would be buried in his home-town, Awo-Omamma in Imo on Saturday, Feb. 10.
It will be recalled that the family of the elder statesman, through a statement by Cyprian C. Obiozor, for the Obiozor family of Ubachima 1, Awo-Omamma, Oru-East LGA, Imo State, Nigeria, recently announced that Igbo icon would be buried on February 3, 2023,
But, Emuchay said: “As you are aware, our Deputy President-General, High Chief Joel Kroham, who also died last year will be buried on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Ahoda in Rivers.”
He said further that: “We are going to have a valedictory session at our national secretariat in the particular building renovated during his tenure and the present building where we hold our Imeobi meetings.
“We are going to have activities to honour him at other state Ohanaeze chapters, especially Lagos, and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he served as Director-General.
“Other groups and chapters of the apex Igbo socio-cultural in Abuja want to organise events to also honour him.
“We as NEC members will also have our own valedictory session to honour him.”
Emuchay said that a one-time PG of the group, Chief Garry Igariwey, was appointed the Chairman of the Burial Committee, while the Imo Chapter President, Mr. C.B. Ihenedu, would serve as the Secretary.
He said that all the NEC members, plus other state chapter members and stakeholders of the body, would serve as committee members.
He said that NEC agreed to constitute a Central Planning Committee and other special sub-committees to organise a befitting burial for the deceased.
Emuchey lamented that it was the first time in the history of Ohanaeze, that two vital seats of the body would become vacant and with two of its helmsmen in the mortuary at the same time.
“But Ohanaeze wants to assure everybody that the ship of the group is in safe hands.
“We will pass through this very difficult period with grace and get stronger,” he said.
Emuchay said that the body would make sure that the two leaders and First Republic Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, were all accorded befitting burials.
He appealed to Ohanaeze members and its various chapters and structures in Nigeria and in Disapora to take out time to be part of the ceremonies.
According to him, the various chapters and structures have been directed to open condolence registers for people to have the opportunity to say goodbye to our great brothers.
“Formal letters will go to the Governors of the seven Ohanaeze states of Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo and Rivers, leaders of our partners in Southern Nigeria, Middle Belt and Northern Elders’ Forums.
“We’ve been in touch with them, and they are shocked at what happened.
“So, we will write to them formally as we have done for the seven governors,” he said.
He further said that the group would write other eminent Nigerians, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to convey the new burial date to them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the one-time Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Cyprus and Ambassador to Israel and the U.S. was elected Ohanaeze P-G on Jan. 9, 2021.
He died on Dec. 26, 2022 at the age of 80.