Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu delivered a very touching tribute to the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu at a funeral service held in Abuja on Monday. He described the late hero as a courageous patriot who stood firmly for justice, equity and national unity.
“The story of Ikemba is the story of a man who spurned the silver spoon and jettisoned the comfort that life offered him from birth to follow a passion of service to fatherland and the defence of the defenceless.”
Ekweremadu noted that Ojukwu’s belief in the Nigerian project was underlined by the fact that he not only joined the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) on return from exile in 1982, but also vied for the presidency of the country.
L- R: Anambra State Governor , Peter Obi, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwueremadu wife at Abuja International Airport at the occassion….
He said Ojukwu had the vision of a true and prosperous federal state where every citizen would find joy and fulfilment, not one fraught with discrimination, ethno-religious tensions and carnage.
“Ikemba had a vision of a Nigeria where every citizen lives without fears in any part thereof; a country great in name and esteem; a country well governed and devoid of the vultures of tribalism, discrimination, ethnic segregation, religious nepotism, sectional cabalism and a nation where potentials and might are not rendered weak by the vultures of corruption and greed.”
Ekweremadu regretted that Odumegwu-Ojukwu came ahead of his time, lived ahead of his time, and died ahead of his time since the laudable visions he longed for were yet to be realised.
“It is only when these visions are realised that the nation will appreciate him and his struggles better.
“Our dear nation and her leaders owe it to the memory of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to strengthen Nigeria as an indivisible political entity where justice, peace, love, and unity reigns.
“Where national interest is supreme; where corruption is a thing of the past; and where every Nigerian is free and able to actualise his or her legitimate dreams and aspirations unmolested in any part of the country, irrespective of religious, political, and tribal affiliations and origin. This is indeed the greatest honour and tribute he can get from us.”
Turning to the remains of Ojukwu, Ekweremadu said:
“Ikemba! Be rest assured that this house will not fall; the termites will no longer eat down our fences; the crows and vultures will no longer patch on our heritage; strangers will no longer walk over our portion, for the sun can only rise on our heritage.”