The Chairman of Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Mrs Obiageri Oko-Enyim; and her elder brother, Chief Ogbonnaya Oko-Enyim, are at loggerhead over whose right it is to bury their father, Chief Simon Oko-Enyim, who died on February 25, 2020.
The PUNCH gathered that Obiageri is the step-sister to Ogbonnaya and until last year, he (Ogbonnaya) was the chairman of the local government.
Obiageri succeeded him last year when local government and councillorship elections were conducted.
The state governor, David Umahi, thereafter, appointed Ogbonnaya as his Special Assistant on School Monitoring in charge of Afikpo North.
But the governor’s aide resigned his appointment last week, citing the state government’s interference in the burial of their father as the reason.
The PUNCH’s investigation revealed that the former council chairman fixed the burial of their father for April 8, 2021 (today), while the current chairman fixed May 8, 2021 for the burial.
The controversy has led to tension in the family of the deceased.
A burial announcement released by Ogbonnaya had stated that there would be traditional wake and cultural service of songs at the deceased’s country home, Uhu Oka Ihie, in Opi autonomous community on Wednesday.
But Obiageri was against the proposed date for the burial of their father.
A statement from the council chairman read, “Following series of calls from different quarters as regards the burial of our father, Omezue S.O Enyim, members of the public are by this announcement informed that the family in collaboration with the Omezue title- holders and other traditional groups in Amasiri has scheduled the funeral of the late sage to hold on May 8, 2021.
“Any person or group of persons parading any other date as regards the burial is on a mission to create disaffection and tension which could cause a breach of public peace.
“Law enforcement agencies have therefore been alerted on this clandestine move of some persons to hold the burial of our late father contrary to the family agreement and they are on ground to arrest and prosecute anyone found culpable in the matter.
“Friends of the family as well as members of the public are enjoined to be guided by this announcement and disregard the purported burial holding today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) as there is nothing like that.”
Ogbonnaya has vowed that nothing will stop him from holding the burial of his father on Thursday.
He told our correspondent that arrangement had been made to ensure that the burial held on the date he chose.
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