Posted by Agwu Ojokogho, Umuahia | 25 May 2015 | 4,093 times
Abia State Government says it stayed away from the burial of late Senator Uche Chukwumerije to respect the wishes of the family.
Government spokesman, Dr ACB Agbazuere, told newsmen in Umuahia that the family of the late Senator kept government in the dark with regard to Chikwmerije’s health condition and rebuffed concerted efforts government made to be part of the burial.
According to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy said the clarification has become necessary following media reports that the state government shunned Chukwumerije’s funeral last Friday when his remains was laid to rest at his Ngodo Isuochi country home in Umunnechi local government area of Abia State.
Said Agbazuere: “Following reports in some sections of the media on the full participation or non-participation of Abia State Government in Senator Uche Chukwumerije’s burial, I feel compelled to make the following clarifications to wit:
“No member of the Chukwumerije family bothered to inform Abia State Government that Senator Uche Chukwumerije had serious health challenges.
“Notwithstanding the afore stated, when the news of the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije was received, His Excellency, Chief T.A. Orji, the Governor of Abia State, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Charles Ajunwa, sent out a condolence message which was widely published by both the print and electronic media.
“His Excellency the governor equally sent the Liaison Officer in charge of Abuja, Mr Ogbonna Agbiri Anyaoha, to the Chukwumerije family, as protocol demands, to inform them that he was coming to visit the family at their Abuja residence. This request was turned down.”
According to Agbazuere, the State Attorney-General, Chief Umeh Kalu, was also despatched to the late Senator’s family to secure a date and time for the governor’s planned condolence visit but the Commissioner was turned back with Chukwumerije’s first son, Chidi, and others allegedly rebuffing the governor’s request.
He added that they allegedly told Umeh that the family was not expecting the governor and that the state should steer clear of the burial.
“Chukwumerije’s family further told Chief Umeh Kalu that they had instructions from their father not to allow the governor or the state government to play any role in his funeral, contending that they will not want to go against their father’s wish. Chief Umeh Kalu also made other efforts through Senator Chukwumerije’s lawyer, his aide, Tom Ezeikpe and others which did not change the position of the family,” Agbazuere said.
The Commissioner said further that “the position of the Chukwumerije’s is still surprising as neither the governor nor the state government ever did any wrong to Senator Chukwumerije except perhaps that he was not supported to return to the Senate for the fourth time, that is after being Senator for 12 years.”
He added that by staying away from the late Senator’s funeral, “government was only respecting the wishes of Chukwumerije and his family which no responsible person or government could have ignored.”
•Photo shows late Uche Chukwumerije.
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