Abia State Government has given reasons for her non participation in the burial of Senator Uche Chukwumerije representing Abia North in the Senate, saying that it was only respecting the wishes of the late senator and his family asking the government to steer clear of the burial.
Briefing newsmen at the Government House, Umuahia, following reports in some sections of the media on the full participation or non-participation of Abia State Government in the Senator’s burial, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dr. ACB Agbazuere, said that no responsible person or Government could have ignored such, adding that no member of the Chukwumerije’s family bothered to inform the Abia State government that Senator Uche Chukwumerije had serious health challenges.
That notwithstanding, he said, when the news of the death of the senator was received, Governor T.A.Orji through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa sent out a condolence message which was widely published by both the print, New Media and electronic media.
According to him, the Governor equally sent the liaison officer in charge of Abuja, Mr. Ogbonna Agbiri Anyaoha to Chukwumerije family as protocol demands to inform them that he was coming to visit the family at their Abuja residence but the request was turned down by the family with a threat to beat up Agbiri if not that he was their brother (from Isuochi in Umunneochi LGA).
Dr. Agbazuere stated that again the Governor sent the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State, Chief Umeh Kalu to the Chukwumerije family to secure date and time for his planned condolence visit which the first son of the deceased Che Chidi Chukwumerije and the others rebuffed and signalled that they were not expecting the Governor and that he should steer clear of the burial.
The Commissioner disclosed that Chukwumerije’s family further told Chief Umeh Kalu that they had instructions from their father not to allow the Governor or the State Government to play any role in his funeral, contending that they will not want to go against their father’s wish, adding that Chief Umeh made other efforts through sen. Chukwumerije’s lawyer, his aide Tom Ezeikpe and others which did not change the position of the family.
Agbazuere said the position of the Chukwumerij’e is still surprising as neither the Governor nor the state Government ever did any wrong to Senator Chukwumerije except perhaps that he was not supported to return to the Senate for the 4th time after being Senator for 12 years.