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PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday led eminent Nigerians that gathered in Uromi headquarters of Esan North East council area of Edo state to bid final fare well to the country’s foremost nationalist and seasoned politician Chief Anthony Eromonsele Enahoro.
The President said Chief Enahoro stood out as the country’s great, dogged hero and fighter who struggled selflessly towards the emancipation of the nation from the clutches of colonial rule, military and civilian oppression.
Represented by the minister of labour and productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, the President promised that the federal government would accord the late elder statesman a befitting honour like those of his contemporaries worth his enormous contributions to the realization of Nigeria citizen’s dream.
“The federal government was mindful of the contributions of Pa Enahoro who at the youthful age of 21 was involved in the liberation of all of us in Nigeria. We are equally aware of his contributions as the federal minister of Information and Labour. All those contributions remain indelible. We always sing in our national anthem that the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain, the labours of Pa Anthony Enahoro will never go in vain ”, he said.
He added that “the federal government would at the appropriate time give him the due accolade, due recognition, recognition that will only be befitting for such a nationalist.”
President Jonathan described Chief Enahoro as “a man who worked in the same boat with the likes of late Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello who are great men of Nigeria, who fought the colonial masters who came here to rule us, a man who moved the motion in the House of Representatives for our independence, a man who continued to fight for the down trodden, a man who participated in NADECO , a man who fought dictatorship, both in military and civilian dictatorship.’’
The State Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in his speech promised to immortalize the vision and mission of late Enahoro with the establishment of Chief Enahoro Political and Philosophical Research institute at the Ambrose Alli Ekpoma with the sum of N50million which would be supported by the 18 local government councils with three million each for the gesture.
He said Enahoro achieved one of his greatest objectives while alive which was to secure independence for the country, pointing out that despite the struggles Nigerians are still in bondage which remains the challenge of all.
While thanking the president for the honour and appreciation to the late elder statesman, Oshiomhole further pledged to dole out another ten million naira for the completion of Saint Anthony’s Cathedral and to support the role of the church in ensuring peace and stability in the country, adding that the enthronement of the principle of one man, one vote remains an indispensable goal for actualization as governor of the state.
In his homily derived from Matthew 5:1-12, Reverend Cosmas Ojeme of the Catholic Institute of West Africa (CWAC) Port Harcourt Rivers State tasked the federal government and Nigerian politicians as well as citizens to ensure a free and fair general elections come April 2011.
Rev. Ojeme said there was the need for sensitivity among the political class as governance has been very expensive across the nation and the establishment of an academy within the frame work of any of the Nigerian Universities where research with and outside the shores of the country would be carried out in respect and honour of the value and virtues of late Chief Enahoro.
These initiatives to be taken by either the federal or state governments, he said, would help in the political transformation of Nigeria, Africa and the world in addition to the formation of a coalition by various individuals and stakeholders, all which Pa Enahoro represented.
The clergy said the burial service was in rejoicing for Chief Enahoro’s repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ that has just commenced, pointing out that he fought against injustices and oppression against humanity which the churches have always preached against.
The solemn event attracted thousands of the nation’s top politicians, activists, community leaders, civil society groups, Catholic faithful, ecclesiastics, the clergies, traditional rulers, students and pupils drawn from various schools who besieged the Saint Anthony Cathedral located along the busy Agbor-Uromi road in the area.
Elders, market women , school children and most believers in the late Enahoro’s ideals had filed along the township road armed with Nigeria’s national flag which they waved as the motorcade of sympathizers on their way to the family house and venue of the church service attended by His Eminence Cardinal Anthony Okogie among others.