From left Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Barrister Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace Airline, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of Anambra state Governor, his husband, Governor Willie Obiano and another child of the deceased at the funeral mass service for late Chief Michael Chukwuka Onyema held at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mbosi, Ihiala, Anambra State.
Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah has emphasised the need for unity and peace in the country.
Bishop Coker stated that Nigeria’s diversity should not be her weakness, but rather her greatest strength as a nation.
In his homily at the requiem mass for the late Chief Michael Chukwuka Onyema at St. Patrick Catholic Church Mbosi, Ihiala Local Government, Anambra state, Bishop Kukah, described the late pa Onyema as a detrabalised Nigerian who encouraged his son in building bridges of unity and friendship across the federation.
He said the late pa Onyema is a quintessential nationalist and statesman.
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto stated further that the late pa Onyema traversed the whole country and made friends from every part of the country and his patriotism significantly influenced the son who believed in the unity of Nigeria and employed people from every part of the country in his business.
Kukah said God will see Nigeria through turbulent times.
The Catholic Bishop noted that ethnicity and religion are not the problem of Nigeria, adding that the United States has more diversity, yet its citizens are patriotic and dedicated to the country.
He stated that nepotism is the key factor that is dividing Nigeria as a country.
Bishop Kukah while saying he detests the word nepotism, said it should be done away with to move the country forward.
Kukah pointed out that herdsmen are not the problem of the country but rather, they are being used as scape goat to vent anger in the country.
According to him, many leaders in Africa started as herdsmen, like the late Nelson Mandela and the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni.
In his words: “I am incredibly optimistic about the future of Nigeria. The reason why I am optimistic about Nigeria is because countries are not made by human beings. I am very optimistic that we will build a new nation.
“The whole of herdsmen have suddenly became a problem in Nigeria. We should know that some of our great men in Africa were herdsmen. Mandela and the Ugandan President were herdsmen. Our country is constantly looking for scapegoats.”
Kukah continued that “We are celebrating Our diversity, but we don’t know how to manage our diversity. Religion and ethnicity are not our problem, but we are living in turbulent times.
“Allen Onyema is a quintessential Nigeria who is creating jobs and employing people from all over the country. This is what we need to build a new Nigeria,” Kukah added.
In his short speech, the Anambra state Governor, Dr Willie Obiano who spoke on- behalf of the other Governors consoled the Onyema family on the death of their patriach saying it is always a thing of joy for a son to bury the father, especially at a very old age.
He said the burial of Chief Michael Chukwuka Onyema is a celebration of a life well spent.
Speaking while welcoming the dignitaries and guests at the event, Chief Allen Onyema thanked the Delta, Edo, Anambra state Governors for their show of love.
Onyema stressed the need for unity and oneness of the country.
He said his father’s burial was attended by friends and well wishers from different parts of the country, including representatives from Miyeti Allah.
Onyema explained that like in the heydays of Amnesty for Niger Delta youths where criminals joined the Niger Delta agitators claiming to be militants, bandits have also joined in causing confusion in the country claiming to be herdsmen.
He applauded Governor Okowa of Delta state for the massive renovation and extension of the Asaba Airport runway.
The ceremony was attended by Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Gov Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the Governor of Imo state, former Governor of Anambra state and PDP vice presidential candidate at the 2019 presidential election, Dr Peter Obi, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of Anambra state Governor, president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, Bishops, Reverend Fathers and other personalities from across the country.