See Burial Tomb Of Nwobodo's First Son..Still Empty

The grisly circumstances that have assailed the family of a former governor of old Anambra State, Seator Jim Nwobodo, following the stalled burial of his first son, Ifeanyi, a medical doctor, who ironically bowed to a cancer-related ailment in his prime, have degenerated instead of abating. Nwobodo who caught a pitiable sight as he clearly betrayed the plight of an elder statesman holed up in the den of agony last Tuesday was driven into disowning his children said to be responsible for the disappearance of the corpse of his late son.
The deceased had died on November 16. The scheduled burial of his remains on December 5 was stalled when his younger siblings allegedly stole the corpse to drive home their insistence that it should be interred in Senator Nwobodo’s compound at their Amechi Awkunanaw country home, Enugu South council area of Enugu state.
The former governor, on his part, has vowed not have the corpse buried in his compound as, according to him, the custom of Amechi forbids him seeing the corpse of any of his children and that to have it interred in his compound would be to institute a permanent agony in his psyche if he would have to see his son’s grave daily. The state of affair in which neither father nor the children would surrender in a messy duel has continued to subsist.
New burial date and Nwobodo’s fresh tackles
Since the surviving children of Nwobodo born to him by his former wife, Mukosolu, successfully stalled the burial and heaped an indelible embarrassment on the elder statesman, nothing has been heard of them and their next line of action. However, the siblings of the departed medical doctor, namely,
Chukwudi said to be an oil industry worker, Usonwa and the only female among them, Ifeoma, had apparently been honing their own strategy in the gruelling encounter with their father. They have fixed December 16 as the new burial date. But Senator Nwobodo, not a man to give in in a matter he should take charge of has quickly pronounced his new tackles since his children failed to consult him before carrying on with the burial scheduled to take place on the premises of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, Amechi Awkunanaw, which is said to have been personally built by the former governor and inaugurated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1982. Firstly, he tacitly disowned those children born to him by his former wife who he said to have divorced before he became governor in 1979.
“The children don’t have my flesh and blood in them because if they do, there are certain things they will not do. My children who have my flesh and blood lavish love on me. And for these ones to steal the corpse of their brother, it’s unheard of, it’s an abomination,” he declared.
Nwobodo has a wife at the moment, Patricia, who has other children for him. Secondly, on that Tuesday when he briefed newsmen on his final decisions concerning the messy controversies surrounding the botched burial of his son, he also vowed never to have anything to do with the burial of his son again, the new burial date fixed by his protesting children notwithstanding. And he said, “After that day (December 5), as far as I’m concerned I have completed the burial, I will never be part of it again.”
Burial site controversy and matters arising
On December 6 when dignitaries and sympathisers had gathered and the controversy broke out with the disappearance of the corpse, the most outstanding permutation that came to the fore was the issue of matrimonial crisis in view of the fact that Nwobodo’s children were born by two different mothers- Mukosolu and Patricia. What was being touted as the reason for both parties sticking to their guns was the issue of who inherits the Amechi property of Nwobodo, between the children of Patricia and those of Mukosolu.
However, the issue of the custom and tradition was played up lavishly. Some said by the tradition of the community, a first son should inherit the assets of his father and that late Ifeanyi being Nwobodo’s first child should be buried in his compound, a reason his siblings have been insisting on his remains being interred in the compound of their father. However, apart from asserting that nobody should dictate for him who inherits his property, the elder statesman has pointed out that the land on which his country home was built was bought by him and that it is not their ancestral land. Even the land opposite his home on which the new bungalow was built for his late son was also acquired by him.
According to Nwobodo, what pained him most was the fact that his children never showed him any sign of protest against their brother’s interment on the new compound until the day of burial, when they went to the mortuary and “stole” the corpse, at the point all the dignitaries that came for the burial had arrived, and thus embarrassed him.
He also clarified the issue of insinuations of matrimonial crisis in his home, saying, “Please I want to make one appeal to the media, I have only one wife (Patricia). I divorced this woman (ex wife) before I became governor (in 1979). Please don’t write that I have two wives; save me the embarrassment of saying matrimonial problem, the church would not have wedded me if I had another wife.” He spoke more on the issue of burial site and his right to will his property: “This place is my personal land where I built my house and not our ancestral land. I can give it to anybody.
This is the first time in my life that I have seen children stealing the corpse of their brother. “It is strange and abomination to our Amechi culture. The children told the Bishop that since I do not want my son buried in my compound but where I built a house for him just opposite my house, that their brother should be buried on a church premises. I agreed but behold they disappeared with the corpse up till now I am talking to you,” Nwobodo lamented.
On their part, his protesting children are said to be grudging the alleged plan by their father to will his control to Patricia’s children, declined to make comment. They are largely incommunicado now. However, a confidant of his children identified as Chukwudi Nnaji, spoke on their behalf on Wednesday, saying they are focused now on the preparations for the December 16 burial ceremony of their brother. Moreover, he stated, they would not under any circumstance tackle their father on the pages of newspapers because he deserved their respect even in the face of this controversy.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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