South East Governors missing at Ekwueme’s Funeral
Beside President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi and four Governors of the South-East geopolitical zone were among the notable absentees at the grand event.
Governors of Enugu, Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi, his Ebonyi and Abia counterparts David Umahi and Okezie Ikpazu ( all members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were represented by their political appointees while Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo (APC) did not attend or send any representative.
Recall that all the governors were on ground to receive the body of the late vice president at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu on Wednesday. However, it was unclear if the actions of the governors were intentional or had political undertone as Governor Willie Obiano, who was absent at the interdenominational church held in honour of same Ekwueme in Enugu was represented by his Deputy, Nkem Okeke. Peter Obi attended the Enugu event but abstained from the Awka service.
Most of the stakeholders present at the event held in Awka were political stalwarts of the ruling All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) at the National, State and Local Government levels; top government functionaries, state government civil servants, and lawmakers. Those sighted at the event include Governor Willie Obiano, Senator Victor Umeh of Anambra Central Senatorial Zone, Alex Otti, gubernatorial hopeful of APGA in Abia State, Hon. Dozie Nwankwo of Dunukofia/ Njikoka, Anaocha federal constituency.
Others were Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, APGA BoT member, Prof. Charles Soludo, Tim Menakaya, two PDP decampee members of APGA, Hon Ben Nwankwo, member representing Orumba north and South federal constituency, Hon Anayo Ndibe of Awka north and South, Hon Gabriel Onyenwife, and others.
In a similar vein, Mr Chido Obidiegwu, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Obiono on Events and one of the Masters of the Ceremony, while introducing Engr Ogoo Ekwueme, SA Public Utilities to Governor Willie Obiano to speak on behalf of the deceased family, said he was chosen because he is APGA even though he is junior to many.
Engr. Ogoo Ekwueme while delivering the vote of thanks commended Willie Obiano and his government and the Federal government for their efforts to give their father a befitting burial.
Among the non APGA members present were Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Productivity who incidentally, represented President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Ndi Obi, Senator Ken Nnamani, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, Andy Uba, Nnamdi Eriobuna, Nnia Nwodo of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Emeka Anyaoku, former Com- monwealth Secretary general.
Others were former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju (APC), Governor Sule Lamido, former Governor of Jigawa State and PDP Presidential aspirant, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo of Southeast Amagamalted Traders Association (SEAMA- TA), members of Anambra state traditional rulers council, members of Anambra State Town Union President Generals, NBA, the military and paramilitaries, Architects,
Also present were clergies, prelates, religious, including Bishops Paulinus Ezeokafor, Valerian Okeke, Jonas Benson Okoye, Okpalaeke of Catholic Dioceses of Awka, Onitsha, Ahiara; while the Angli- can Communion has Maxwell Anikwenwa, Johnson Ekwe, Udogu Ezeoka, Alex Ibezim , Pius Ogbunaja, and others. Their were also representatives of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), led by Bishop Paul Nwachukwu of Grace of God Mission and others.