A group under the aegis of Orlu Political Consultative Assembly, OPOCA, on Tuesday criticized Prof. Nnamdi Obiareri, Imo State Commissioner for Information, for claiming that the State government gave Owuru Samfo Nwankwo a state burial and bankrolled all burial expenses.
In a statement issued by the National President of Orlu Political Consultative Assembly, Barr. Rex Anunobi said ,”In as much as OPOCA is not in competition with the State government and its officials regarding what they finally chose to do in line with established service rules , OPOCA is however constrained to dispel the falsehood and misconceptions sponsored in electronic and social media by agents of the government to the effect that Imo State government was responsible for Owuru’s burial thereby deceiving the unsuspecting members of the public and OPOCA friends that the funds generously contributed towards giving a national and befitting burial to our departed Leader was a calculated scam to fleece them.”
According to the group National President, “The burial proposal as submitted to OPOCA by Owuru Samfo Nwankwo’s family was first presented to the government; and the government declined and only picked one or two lesser items leaving the important items as they (government) declined responsibility.”
He pointed out that OPOCA in line with the resolve to give her departed Leader and Pioneer Life National President a National Burial deserving of his national status funded the flight ticket from Brazil to Nigeria of Dr Samfo Nwankwo’s first son who is studying in that country to ensure that as tradition demands, he was present to preside and oversee the funeral rites and burial of his departed father.
Barr. Anunobi further disclosed that other expenses such as Nite of Tribute on the 22nd August, 2018 at All Seasons Hotel, Owerri and the Wake-Keep at his family house, Arondizuogu, Ideato North, Printing of burial brochure ,Foreign Casket and other undertaker’s services ,a cow presented to Late Owuru’s family, Food and drinks cooked and served at OPOCA’s Tent for Friends and sympathizers, A condolence purse of N500,000.00 to the family after the burial, Media publications, both in the print and electronic media before, during and after the burial were all funded by the group.
He disclosed that OPOCA and friends were present early at the funeral church service while government presence was conspicuously skeletal.
Anunobi also revealed that It was at the point of interment about 2.30pm at Late Owuru’s house that they noticed the presence of government delegation led by the Secretary to Imo State government, Sir George Eche which could be regarded as a mere condolence visit going by Igbo tradition.
The National President further said ,”while OPOCA deems it necessary to put these records straight to avoid further misconception and deliberate distortion of facts over Late Owuru’s burial, we still expect Imo State Government to do something reasonable and tangible for Late Owuru Dr. Samfo Nwankwo’s family as he worked and died in government service.”