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Thousands bid farewell as Ex-Ohanaeze President Dozie Ikedife makes final journey home

By Pamela Eboh, Awka on 13/12/2018

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•Late Dozie Ikedife
•Late Dozie Ikedife

Thousands of mourners on Wednesday thronged the country home of late former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, in Otolo Nnewi, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, as he was laid to rest.

Ikedife died on Tuesday evening after an age-related illness and his burial ceremony, which was fixed for Wednesday evening according to his alleged demand, attracted sympathisers from the state and beyond.

Apart from his colleagues in the medical field, the old boys of his Alma Mata, Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), Onitsha, also turned out en masse in their uniforms to pay their last respect to late Dr Ikedife.

In his sermon, the officiating priest, Rev Fr. Udemba, described late Chief Ikedife as a detribalized Nigerian whose life “was like a photograph, very clear, transparent and built on truth.”

He observed that, unlike any known and popular Igbo man, you can never sign any (visitors) paper before you can see Ikedife.

He said: “This was a man who always had his gate open. If you want to see him for anything and you brought gift or wine, he would tell you to go back with it and come back later so that you would not think he would assist you because of your gift. You could not buy him with anything.

“Unlike our schools, churches and government, you can get anything from late Chief Ikedife without any interest. Our prayer is that somebody will bear the same character Chief Ikedife possessed.

“Late Dozie Ikedife was an intellectual. He could work the street without fear of kidnap.”

In his speech, the first son of Chief Ikedife, Mr Dozie Okedife Jnr, said that the family was consoled in the fact that their father did not bury any of his children.

He said their father was a lucky man, saying that it is a thing of joy that his children are burying him.

His words: “Considering his age at 88 years, it should be a celebration of life. He actually dictated what should be done for him when he died. We his children and family are trying to do things according to his wishes.

“Our father has a tight family; we have a very good family unit. However, my father left really big shoes and it will be actually difficult for us to fill them. He achieved a lot of things in life. We will preserve and maintain his legacies, that is his desire.

“I’m surprised at the number of people attracted to the burial because there was publicity given to his death. We are surprised at the number of people that came to pay their last respect.”

Speaking at the event, an elder statesman and First Republic Aviation Minister, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, described the death of Dr Ikedife as a big loss to Ndigbo in particular and Nigeria, in general.

“As a professional, he excelled in his medical practice, saving the lives of a countless number of mothers. As a nationalist, he believed in one strong Nigeria, he also believed that in that strong Nigeria, that Ndigbo must be on equal status with the rest of other ethnic groups in the country.

“That is why he believed in the struggle of the youths who are now agitating for the restoration of Biafra, (however) he never believed in violence, he believed that in a situation like this struggle, it behoves on the Federal Government to come down and listen to the people and find out what the people want.

“The younger generation does not like the way the Igbo are being treated in Nigeria, so it is the duty of government to listen to them and possibly arrange for plebiscite or referendum.”

Dignitaries that attended the burial ceremony included Prof Pita Ejiofor, Prof Elochukwu Amucheazi, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu and Chief Onyeabo Obi.

Other dignitaries who were at the burial ceremony were Chief Dan Ulasi, Chief Ajulu Uzodike, Prof. Robinson Ofiaeli, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe and Prof Charles Anazodo, among others.

Source News Express

Posted 13/12/2018 2:32:12 PM





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