A chieftain of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka has revealed that the burial of Biafra war heroes and victims of insurgency will bring everlasting peace to Igbo-land.
This is coming as the Anambra State government has declared Monday, Jan. 12, as public holiday andalso set it aside for the burial, which would attract the people of the Igbo nation both at home and in Diaspora to Awka for the grand event.
Ezeonwuka, who has been championing the burial for years said that Ohaneze, other Igbo groups and governments had agreed to make Jan. 12 a permanent remembrance day for the fallen heroes.
He said that Jan. 12 would henceforth be known as “Heroes Day” in the entire Igbo-land; while the commemoration would be done worldwide by Igbos at home and in Diaspora.
The Igbo leader attributed violent crimes, especially kidnapping and armed robbery to the non-burial of the war heroes and some of our brothers and sisters fallen due to insurgency.
“And in our custom and tradition; it is believed that the spirit of our fallen heroes in the Biafra war and others who died in violent circumstances due to insurgency were yet to be laid to rest in the proper manner.
“Every person deserves a burial no matter the circumstances that lead to the person’s death,’’ he said.
Ezeonwuka noted that overseas, places mapped out as burial grounds do have epitaphs of fallen heroes, while some nations build special burial ground and cenotaphs for their fallen heroes.
“I have started stressing the need for the burial for long since these fallen heroes and victims of insurgency died not only for Ndi-Igbo but for the entire nation.
“With the involvement of Gov. Willie Obiano and consent of other governors of the South-East and South-South states as well as groups; the bereaved families and the Igbo-nation at large within the former Eastern region would be exceedingly glad,’’ he said.
The Ogirisi of Igbo-land, however, warned that the solemn gathering in Awka has nothing to do with politics; adding that those coming should wear only black cloths and get ready to pray for the land.
“The solemn gathering is not a political jamboree or gathering; do not wear your political party uniforms or come with your political party posters or banners to the solemn gathering.
“While all should appear in black throughout with a candle stick at the event ground in Awka. Those who could not make it should light their candles and pray for our heroes, fallen brothers and sisters as well as healing of our land in their homes that particular day, being Monday, Jan. 12,’’ he said.