The Central Association of Nigerians in the United Kingdom(CANUK) has sent its solidarity message to Igboland and the entire Nigerian nation on the death of former leader of the defunct Republic of Biafra, Chief Dim Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, claiming it had been mourning alongside all those who have commiserated in the death of Igbo leader.
In a message of ‘solidarity in mourning’, CANUK described Chief Ojukwu as a true leader whose death had touched the soul of every well meaning Nigerian.
“We are consoled by the fact that Nkemba was not an ordinary man but a once in a generation hero, whose footprint on the sand of time can never be extinguished for this generation and many more generation to come.
“We offer our prayers and thoughts at this very sad time and may the comfort of Almighty God envelope us all at this time.” the organisation prayed in an issued statement in London.
The statement continued:”On behalf of the entire Nigerian community resident in the United Kingdom and especially the executive and members of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK), we extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs Bianca Ojukwu, the children, relatives and families, the Ndigbos and entire Nigerians on the loss of the Ikemba of Nnewi Chief Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu”.
“We also extend our sympathies to the High Commissioner of Nigeria to the United Kingdom, Dr Dalhatu Sarki Tafida and the entire Ministers and staffs of the Nigerian High commission who we sure are devastated by this unexpected loss of the Ikemba who was our guest in the UK.
The statement signed by Bimbo Roberts F,olayan, the organisation said it’s already in touch with the family and will update the community on funeral plans and how Nigerians in the UK can participate in the quest for a befitting burial for the departed.
Meanwhile, Bianca, widow of the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, has expressed gratitude to Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom (UK) for their support to the family during the period of her husband’s hospitalisation.
She expressed the gratitude when a delegation from the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK), led by its chairman, Mr Bimbo Folayan, paid her a condolence visit in London.
“Your visits, love and support were very consistent throughout the period my husband was in the hospital. I thank you all for this,” Bianca said
She assured CANUK that they would be involved in the burial processes when the final arrangements were concluded by the family.
Also, one of Ojukwu’s uncle, Chief Innocent Okafor, said CANUK would be included in the committees working on the burial arrangements.
“The Ikemba died in your hands; it is only sensible that you (CANUK) as a community should be encouraged to play a major role in the Ikemba’s burial,” Okafor said.
Earlier, Folayan described the Ikemba as a nationalist who meant well for the country.
“Ikemba is one of the heroes of our generation. As part of our continued support, CANUK will be willing and ready to participate in the burial arrangements,” Folayan said.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to the government to repair the roads leading to the Eastern part of the country to enable Nigerians to travel without hitch for the burial.