N1b budget for Ekwueme’s burial is unreasonable- Ezeife

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The Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government approved N1bilion, for former Vice President Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme’s burial part of which had been spent, in readiness for the burial slated for February 2 in Oko, Anambra State.

However, a former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has disapproved the claim of the Federal Government describing it as unreasonable.

According to Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife “, I do not doubt that the Federal Government may have spent such a huge amount but my worry is how much of it that may have entered private pockets. How much is the burial envelope and what are the plans for the burial? I don’t know what to believe but if it is true that such an amount has been budgeted for the burial, it is unreasonable.” ‘Sic’

Also, The Chairman of the South-east burial committee, Prof. Simeon Ortuanaya, denied that his committee has received assistance from the Federal Government in planning the burial.

Although efforts to speak with members of Ekwueme’s family to establish the accuracy of the claim proved abortive as none was willing to speak on the matter. Meanwhile, some prominent Igbo leaders, who reacted to the development, doubted that such thing happened.

The Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma, who was part of the dignitaries that received Ekwueme’s remains at the Akanu Ibiam, Enugu airport said the claim is “unacceptable.” adding that the Federal Government should explain how the N1 billion was spent.

Also, the Emeritus President of a pan-Igbo organisation, Aka Ikenga, Chief Goddy Uwazuruike, described the action as ‘unimaginable’ he stated that ”such action is not welcome at this time when various challenges facing the south-east are neglected by the Government”.

However, Chukwuma described Ekwueme as a great politician that would never be forgotten as far as the politics of the country is concerned. He thanked the Federal Government for giving him a befitting burial.

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