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*Nigeria: Dim Ojukwu Buried In Hometown
Masterweb News Team was on the ground when Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was buried in his hometown, Nnewi, Anambra State on Friday, March 2. Ojukwu's body laid in state in his compound in Nnewi next to St. Michael's Catholic Church on the burial day between 9.00 am to 10.00 am, followed by a requiem (funeral) mass and tributes between 10.15 am to 1.45 pm. Ojukwu's adult sons, Sylvester and Emeka Jnr., and his widow, Bianca were at the service. Also in attendance were Peter Obi, Anambra State Governor and President Goodluck Jonathan, among other distinguished guests including Ralph Uwechue, President General, Ohaneze Ndigbo and Martins Elechi, Ebonyi State Governor. The closed casket of Ojukwu's body was placed about seven feet to the alter with Bianca sitting in a church pew a few feet from the casket. ( Continues below….. )
The requiem mass ended at 1.30 pm after which Governor Obi and President Jonathan amongst other important dignitaries delivered tributes on Late Dim Ojukwu. Jonathan said he would never forget meeting Ojukwu at his father's burial in the Niger Delta, during which he embraced him as a brother and father. He thanked Ndigbo for their support in the last elections.
The coffin was sprinkled with Holy Water and incensed at the end of the tributes and while the casket was taken away from the church in paradisium ( "May the angels lead you unto paradise. The martyrs welcome you as you draw near; and lead you into Jerusalem, the heavenly city." ) sung. The casket, draped in Nigerian national colours of green-white-green, was carried into Ojukwu's compound at 1.53 pm by senior army officers. ( Continues below….. )
Church mourners and thousands restricted from the church due to space and security issues overwhelmed Ojukwu's compound gate under tight security control, questioning and screening. Important dignitaries and few members of the public were allowed-in due to mainly space issues. Members of the media were not spared as they had to struggle under life-threatening crowd control measures to enter the compound. A member of Masterweb News Team was forced into the gutter as soldiers and police repelled the surging crowd with whips (Koboko) and batons. Fight broke out at a point between soldiers and police on one side and an armed unidentified security detail in mufti who was denied entry into the compound. The combined team of soldiers and police bundled the armed security detail who also cocked his gun away. It was a frightening scene. The crowd surged again after the incident with security forces unleashing whips and batons on people, resulting in stampede as they fled the gate area. A police officer who was pushed down in the panic, got up and released a canister of tear gas which worsened the situation with people running faster, coughing, sneezing and knocking down anything on their path. A Masterweb reporter who was inside St. Michael's Catholic Church compound about 100 meters from Ojukwu's compound gate reported people coughing, sneezing and running away from the church compound. It was a bizarre scene for mourners of their hero.
Ojukwu's body was lowered into the grave at 2.45 pm after prayers, and both the grave and casket sprinkled with Holy Water and incensed.
Masterweb will published more photo news of its coverage of Enyimba Stadium funeral honour of Dim Ojukwu and final burial rites, interment and post-burial activities at his hometown, Nnewi, Anambra State.
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