Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe and the widow of the first president of Nigeria, Prof. Uche Azikiwe has said the federal government has no excuses abandoning Zik’s Mausoleum 21 years after his demise.
Achebe who spoke recently at University of Nigeria, Nsukka during the founders’ day ceremony said it is appalling that successive administrations in the country have done nothing to complete the final resting place of its first president.
He noted that the Mausoleum is the right of Zik, stressing, “Zik was the first premier of Eastern Nigeria, first President of Nigeria and the founder of University of Nigeria Nsukka, the Mausoleum if completed would serve as an honour to Zik.
I don’t see why the federal government should not have prioritized by completing it in memory of its hero.
“I urge Nigerians to help pressure the Federal Government to complete the Mausoleum’’ he added.
Also, in an interview with Daily Times, the former first lady and widow of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwethe, Prof. Uche Azikiwe said it hurts to see that the project was abandoned which implies that the country has no respect for its leaders.
“We are praying that Nigeria should learn to respect its leaders.
“I don’t want to remember the Mausoleum because it hurts me, it hurts the entire family. We are wondering whether Zik is the first President, first governor general, the first senate president of this country.
“It is disheartening that somebody like Zik is being treated this way. The successive administrations keep promising but nothing has been done. The only former minister who put in spirited effort on the project was Mrs. Pepple; she promised that the mausoleum would be completed under her.
“She awarded the contract but was later removed.
She appealed to the present administration to complete the mausoleum in honour of the late president. 21 years after Zik’s death the government were unable to complete the mausoleum, it is disheartening, a person like Zik. “
“Go over there to Ghana you will see what the Ghanaians government did for Nkrumah. I don’t know what they are waiting for, if Federal Government doesn’t want to complete the project they should tell us so that we can start running around for its completion.
“But we feel it is the right of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe the Zik of Africa, the first President, first governor general of Nigeria. It is his privilege, it is what Nigeria should do for him”, she said.
Moses Oyediran, Enugu