Afikpo North Local Government chairman, Barr. Obiageri Oko Enyi, has reacted to her brother’s allegations against her and the Ebonyi State Governor, Umahi.
The Special Assistant to Governor Umahi, on School Monitoring, Akpiko North LGA, Ogbonnia Oko Enyim, resigned his appointment on Tuesday March 30.
The immediate past chairman of Afikpo North had accused the Governor of showing undue interest in his sister and denying him the right as the first son to organise a befitting burial for his father.
In statement issued on Thursday April 1, Barr. Obiageli alleged that her elder brother has been frustrating every plan to bury their late father.
According to Obiageri, their father, Omezue Simon Oko Enyim died since the 25th of February, 2020 and must be buried between April and May 18, 2021, else he would not be buried again this year as custom demands.
Obiageri further stated that Oko Enyim had resorted to playing to the gallery by blackmailing the state governor, Dave Umahi, and alleging that he is interfering in their family matter. Her statement read;
“I have desisted from joining words with my brother, Chief Ogbonnia Oko Enyim, with regards to the burial of our late father. His dragging the Governor into our family issues is nothing but cheap blackmail as the governor has never meddled in our family affairs, let alone stopping the former chairman from burying our father,” she stated.
“The truth is that Oko Enyim has been doing everything possible to make sure that our father is not buried since he died on Tuesday, 25th February, 2020, more than a year now. He doesn’t even know the mortuary where our late father’s corpse was deposited, let alone involving people in the burial arrangements.
“Instead, he has been frustrating every move we are making as a family to bury our father. As the first son of the family, Oko Enyim has never set his foot in the family house to inquire about the corpse of his father or burial plans. Bear in mind that our father died while he was still the council chairman, but he didn’t give a hoot.
“Instead, what he has been doing is to report me and our family to different people, especially Amasiri elders, and refusing different dates for the burial of our father. In fact, he recently declared that the burial will be in November this year.
“My father was a titled man and there is a specific period of the year that he is supposed to be buried. In fact, you don’t bury a titled man of my father’s status during the rainy season, according to our tradition, as he was an Omezue.
“However, instead of telling people the truth of how he has been frustrating the moves of our extended family, Oko Enyim decided to play to the gallery by blackmailing Governor Umahi and alleging that he is interfering in our family. Who does that?”
She added: “I didn’t collect anybody’s birth right and I am not thinking of doing that because I am a custodian of culture and tradition. I am Ogbueku Nwanyi. I am not even renovating my father’s house in order to get a room there. I have so many places to live.
“It is in the public domain that he didn’t care for our father until his death. He died under a leaking roof. I am the one renovating the house now. When our father died in a hospital, out of respect for him as the first son and as a custodian of culture, I called Oko Enyim to tell me where I should deposit his corpse, even against our father’s wish as he had instructed that Oko Enyim should not participate in his burial.
“On Thursday, 27th February, 2020, I went to Oko Enyim’s house to talk about burial plans, but he ignored me. What he did was to tell people to tell me to give him the receipt for the mortuary. People should ask him the mortuary his father’s corpse is. He has been pasting posters without a mortuary address.
“The summary of the whole thing is that the family is begging him to come to the family house or even invite us to his own house for us to agree on how we will bury our late father.
“If he has chosen a date, what are the preparations so far? What are we going to wear that day? Are we not supposed to contribute to the tribute? Are we not supposed to say anything in the burial programme? These are what we are asking of him. Nobody is dragging date or birth right with him. What we are asking is for the proper thing to be done.
“In Ehugbo culture and in a polygamous house, every house must be present or represented in discussing burial plans. Our first daughter is in the UK. She took care of our father while Oko Enyim was neglecting the same man. Our elder sister suggested fixing the burial ending of April, but Oko Enyim refused.
“Someone should ask him whether he has come to the family house since our father died on 25th of February last year, let alone renovating it. He has not entered the house as I am speaking with you, so who is denying him of his responsibilities?
“I have severally called him and gone to his house to beg him to own up to his responsibilities. Even when the Umunna, that’s our father’s kindred, came in and gave a neutral date, Oko Enyim went and reported them to the community chief, who said we will all work with the date chosen by the Umunna. In all the places Oko Enyim reported us to, he failed. That’s why he then reported me to the governor.
“It is because of him that I have not told anyone, even my colleagues, that I am burying my father as I don’t want us to wash our dirty linens outside. But he said he will frustrate me. Even on Saturday last week that he came opposite our family house, the Umunna asked him what he really wants and he said he will bury our father in November. That’s when the Umunna told him they know he just wants to punish everyone as the deceased can no longer be buried this year after May 18.”