The national burial committee for the late Prof Ben Nwabueze co-chaired by former Commonwealth secretary-general and chairman of The Patriots, Emeka Anyaoku; and president-general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has been inaugurated.
Nwabueze, pioneer secretary general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and senior advocate of Nigeria, died on October 29 at his Lagos home aged 91.
The Nwabueze family had earlier announced members of the burial committee to include Anyaoku and Iwuanyanwu (co-chairmen), Senator Ben Ndi Obi (vice-chairman), Ambassador Okey Emuchay and Olawale Okunniyi (co-secretaries), Damien Obiefule (assistant secretary), Kalu Idika Kalu, Tunji Abayomi, Emeka Ngige (SAN), Chijioke Okoli (SAN) and Ikechukwu Amaechi.
Others include Arinze Oduah, Ben Egonu, Prof Ikenna Alumona, Chukka Ifejika, Prof Elochukwu Amucheazi, Somto Udeze, Nkechi Chukwurah, Nnenna Okwuosa, Jenkins Alumona, Senator Uche Ekwunife and Pascal Aniegbuna.
A statement by Mr Amaechi, chairman of the media and publicity sub-committee, on Tuesday, said the burial programme of the reverred constitutional lawyer would take place from February 23 to March 5, 2024; commencing with a court session in his honour on Friday, February 23.
This will be followed by Day of Tributes in Lagos on Saturday, February 24 and on Monday, February 26, the Eminent National Leaders of Nigeria, popularly known as The Patriots, will organise a colloquium in Lagos.
Thereafter, the burial activities will shift to the south-east where Ohanaeze Ndigbo will organise a Day of Tributes on Tuesday, February 27, in Enugu.
Jenkins Alumona, who spoke on behalf of the family, said the remains of Prof Nwabueze, the Oduah Afo-na-Isagba of Atani, would be interred in his Atani country home in Ogbaru Local Government Area, Anambra State in what will be a traditional private ceremony.
The reception and celebration of the worthy life of Nwabueze, former minister of education, will take place in Atani on Saturday, March 2. This will be followed by a three-day traditional burial rites from March 3 to March 5.
The inaugural meeting which took place at the FRA Williams Chambers, Ilupeju, and chaired by Anyaoku, also had in attendance Amaechi, Wale Okuniyi, Senator Obi, Alumona, Arinze Oduah, Chijioke Okoli, Damian Obiefule, Nkechi Chukwurah and Nnenna Okwuosa. Other members joined virtually.
Prominent members of The Patriot including Prof. Anya Anya, Senator Bassey Henshaw, Ralph Obioha, General Ike Nwachukwu, Prof Remi Sonaiya and Prof. Anthony Kila were also present at the inauguration.
Anyaoku, in his opening remarks, enjoined all to work towards giving the late Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) awardee, who became a SAN in 1978 strictly on the basis of his published works, a befitting burial.