Chief Ikechukwu Ndubueze is the President General of Afaraukwu Ibeku Development Union. In this interview with OKEY SAMPSON, he spoke on the role military played in the death of Nnamdi Kanu’s mother. He, however said the community would not sue the Federal Government over this, but would rather focus on giving the wife of their traditional ruler a befitting burial. He equally spoke about the monarch’s return to his palace, and the mood of the community following the death of their Ugoeze.
How is the community feeling over the death of her Ugoeze?
Well, the community is not feeling well because her (Ugoeze’s) death came as a shock to us because since the Operation Python Dance invaded the palace in 2017, we did not see them (Ugoeze and her husband) again or heard from them. Only about last week we heard she died. There is shock everywhere in the community; everybody is in pains because for such a beautiful nice woman to just pass away like that, it’s a big shock and a big loss to the community.
Death is something that is inevitable, there is nothing we can do than to take heart because we cannot question God, we will rather take solace in Him and take heart and pray that such will not happen again.
Nnamdi Kanu said his mother died as a result of shock she suffered from soldiers’ invasion of their home during Operation Python Dance in 2017. Do you agree with that?
I can agree with that. Why I may toe the same line is because considering what happened, it takes somebody that has a lion’s heart to even stay up to this time from what happened. It’s not a thing anybody will pray to experience in life, more so for them who were inside the palace when the incident happened, I feel that they are so strong to have stayed up to this time.
Is the community suing the Federal Government over her death?
No, we are not contemplating that, rather what the community has planned to do is to go on air and announce her death formally and every other arrangement will later be made public.
How does the community bear the death of your Ugoeze?
Well, nobody has ever died and took others along. Whenever it happens, with time, you get through it and we believe with God on our side, we will bear the loss.
Your monarch is back, has his palace been cleansed as you promised earlier?
Actually we had to do what we should do because we cannot stay without our traditional ruler, so, we had to do everything within our reach to ensure he was back, after all the bible says ‘seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and every other thing shall be added unto you.’ First of all, he is back home, if there is any other thing that is remaining, we will follow it from there. We’ve done what we are supposed to do. He came back late September.
What are the preparations for the burial?
For now, we’ve not started the burial arrangement, when we do, we will still tell the public. One thing is certain, there is no way we are going to give her a low key burial, we are going to give her a befitting burial.
What role will the community play in her burial?
She is our mother, she is our wife, and so, it falls on the community’s shoulder to give her a befitting burial which the community will do. We are not for now going to ask the Federal Government to pay the community compensation over her death going by the circumstances. We are not going to do that, the most important thing is that our mother is dead, our Ugoeze is dead, we will sit down and plan how to bury her. We are not going to involve anybody because the community has what it takes to bury her; we will give her a befitting burial, that’s it.
How would you describe the Ugoeze?
She was a wonderful woman, very dynamic and enterprising, she was a woman anybody would love to stay with because she was always cheerful, always accommodating and she never discriminated while alive, she was a mother indeed and that is why everybody in our place is so much concerned over her demise.
What advice do you have for your monarch and the community?
For our monarch, we are trying to manage him now; they had a very wonderful marriage and it has not been easy for him more especially when the news was broken to him. So, we are trying to manage him and I believe by the special grace of God, he will soon be strong.
Concerning the community, we will try as much as we can to bear the loss. It’s not easy, but there is nothing anybody can do, like I said before, we cannot question God, it’s Him that creates, it’s Him that takes.