Mausoleum, the final resting place of the late literary giant, Prof Chinua Achebe is at its completion stage in his compound, Ogidi in Idemili North council area of Anambra State even as the community says it is in high spirit to receive its son and visitors including three serving presidents of various countries on 23 May. Our correspondent gathered that the proposed Achebe mausoleum, which is under construction attached few metres away from his personal duplex building would serve as the tomb of the late literary giant as well serve as the (Obi) chamber for the fallen hero.
Speaking to our reporter on the preparation for the burial of late Prof Achebe, the Regent of Ogidi community, Chief S. Okoli said the community was in high spirit to receive their son and accord him necessary burial rights befitting a man of his status. The regent further said the community had embarked on cleaning exercise in all the villages that make up Ogidi to have a clean environment to welcome visitors from various parts of the world that would be take part in the funeral of their son.
“Yes Ogidi as a community is in a high spirit to receive our son, Prof Chinua Achebe and as it stands now, there are many preparations going on in various villages especially Ikenga Ogidi, the home village of Achebe, the community is currently embarking on cleaning exercise in all the major roads and entrances into the community because our son will be given a befitting burial.
We also have several masquerades that we shall display on that day to entertain our visitors and to show them that our son is not just an international figure but a man in tune with culture and tradition of his people.” He further disclosed that work had reached advanced stage at the Ogidi Town Hall, where the body of late Prof Achebe would lie in state immediately it reached the Ogidi soil, adding that as the former president general of Ogidi Union Nigeria, all necessary privileges would be given to their late son before burial.
He said the late Achebe would be buried in the night in line with the culture of the people of Ogidi community, saying, “as a titled man, he will be buried towards evening in line with our culture and tradition. His body shall lie in state in the yam ban (Oba) where the daughters of the clan (Umuokpu) shall pay him their last respects before he would be buried in the night.”
Also speaking, the immediate past National President of Ikenga Ogidi Union Nigeria, Dr. Emma Obianagha said the community had concluded arrangements to receive the body of their son and accord him all necessary last respect befitting a man of his status while calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to use the burial of the late icon to fulfill all the promises made to Ndigbo.
However, information from the Ogidi Publicity Committee of Chinua Achebe Burial Community disclosed that three serving presidents are expected at the burial day including President Goodluck Jonathan, his Ghanaian and Kenyan counterparts.
The Chairman of Media and Publicity, Ogidi burial community, Mr. Bob Manuel Udokwu told Daily Sun that President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria would lead his Ghanaian and Kenyan counterparts, Mr. John Dramani Mahama and Uhuru Kenyata to Ogidi to witness the funeral of late Prof Achebe.