There was relative peace in lsiama Afaraukwu autonomous community, Umuahia North local government area of Abia State, home of Nnamdi Kanu as his parents, His Royal Highness, Israel Okwu Kanu and his wife, Ugoeze Meme Sally, are being buried on Friday.
The city of Umuahia more especially Afaraukwu is beefed up with security operatives both Police, DSS, soldiers and others fully armed.
Despite the heavy security presence, thousands of mourners from all parts of the South-East zone were seen dressed in black.
Their bodies were taken to HRH late Sir, Eze Israel’s compound for lying in state, government house, Umuahia North local government headquarter, other places and finally to the church for final Christian service.
During the burial service at St. Andrew’s Anglican church Isiama Afara Ukwu, the Anglican Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Bishop Geoffrey Ibeabuchi, who presided over the service, in a sermon, urged the congregation to live Christ-like, stressing that death is a must which when it comes would not be rejected.
He advised that the living should repent from their sins and be born again, saying that the judgement day is coming when we will face thy Lord to give an account of what we did.
According to the Bishop, “The living knows that they will die” while talking about death, many things came to mind. We will reject it but when it will come it must take place”, he said.
While regretting the death of HRH Eze Israel, who was lying lifeless in a stage, he stated that death knows nothing, respect nobody, stressing that Eze Israel was known for his punctuality in the church, good leadership and generally kind-hearted human being till death.
Also speaking, briefly after the burial service, Senator representing Abia South, Senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe, commended IPOB for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner. He disclosed that Igbo people fear death and give it different names, like Onwu Amara Egbu, Onwu Amara Enyi, Onwu Egbughi Aha.
He prayed that death will never kill the name of HRH Eze Israel who has played a vital role in uniting Igbo people, stressing that God would guide everybody who attended the burial home peacefully.
Former senator, representing Anambra Central, Sir Victor Umeh, regretted the burial of parents of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, HRH, Eze Israel, saying it is an emotion-provoking event.
Senator Umeh who was speaking to a journalist before the burial of the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu community, Abia state urged Ndigbo to bear the loss with fortitude noting that death was a phenomenon every man should look forward to.
He also commended the federal government for ensuring that the burial was peaceful.
“We have come here to join the Afara Ukwu people Abia State and indeed Ndigbo to bury the traditional ruler of Afara Ukwu, Mazi Israel Kanu and his beloved wife.
“Today, according to our custom and tradition, it necessary for those who are alive to bury the dead not only that but today we are burying a great man, a king, a community leader and a Night of the Christian Church. So you can see it is an emotion-provoking event.
“We also come to commiserate with the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and his siblings and all the other relations to ask them to bear this double tragedy with fortitude and with God’s grace. I pray that God will grant them eternal rest in paradise.
“To the Afara Ukwu community, brothers and friends of Nnamdi Kanu, they must see it as something that must come in life and submit to the will of God.
“We commend the federal government for allowing us to bury our brother and sister and IPOB for organising themselves in a peaceful manner as they used to be”, he said.
Umeh further commended IPOB members for not yielding to media threats aimed at discouraging them from attending the burial.
In a special parent tribute by one of his sons, Prince Emmanuel Kanu, regretted the death of their parents, stressing they gave them blood untainted with vice, the opulence of undiluted health, education and close-knit family built on a foundation of love for one another and knowledge of God.
He also disclosed that in time of trouble that their parents were always there for them, stressing that they have done a lot to perpetuate one’s bloodline and prayed the seed of universal freedom for the dear nation, Biafra they planted would flourish forever.
In a statement by the media and publicity secretary of IPOB, Comrade Emma Powerful, lamented that Nigerian Soldiers arrested peaceful people going to Afara Ukwu Umuahia to pay last respect to HRH Eze Israel and his wife, along Enugu- Igweocha Port Harcourt expressway.
Powerful, also accused Facebook of partnering with the Nigerian Army in meting injustice on Biafrans.
“As the provocation, harassment, intimidation, kidnapping and arrest of mourners continue unabated along Enugu-Igweocha (Port Harcourt) Expressway, there are confirmed reports that 3 Coaster buses conveying mourners to Afaraukwu were hijacked by Nigerian soldiers at Ubakala Junction. We hope the world can see what these vandals in uniform are doing and duly taking note for future reference.
“It appears Facebook Nigeria are working hand in hand with the murderous Nigerian army and police, that failed woefully in the fight against Boko Haram in the north, by preventing real-time dissemination of live video coverage of events on their platform, thereby aiding and abating human rights abuses in Biafraland.
He, therefore, requested for their immediate release to enable them to proceed to the burial ceremony and meet their families.
Dignitaries at the burial include former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, Senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Former senator, Sir Victor Umeh, Barr Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Chief Uka Sanye, Abia State House of Assembly, and other Igbo leaders.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (local news)