Reporter : ONYINYE CHIJIOBI
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe has called on the Federal Government to hand over Zik’s Mausoleum to Anambra State Government.
Igwe Achebe, who doubles as the Chairman South east Traditional Rulers Council, made the call shortly after the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, inspected the facility in Onitsha.
The Federal Government had in July 2020 inaugurated a Presidential Committee for the Maintenance of Zik Mausoleum and Conference Centre Onitsha.
During the inauguration in Abuja, Mr. Fashola said the Mausoleum, which was conceived by previous administrations and inaugurated in 2019, was to serve as a national monument and tourist centre in memory of the the first President of Nigeria, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, for his contributions to the nation’s unity.
According to the Minister, the committee would take responsibility for the effective maintenance and management of the facility in accordance with the National Public Buildings Maintenance Policy and ensure its protection, work at optimal capacity and attain its full life span.
However the reverse has been the case as Igwe Alfred Achebe lamented that the
facility, which would have served as a veritable source of knowledge and resource pool for students, researchers and administrators seeking knowledge on Nigeria’s rich history and the evolution of the nation state, had been over grown by weeds.
The traditional ruler maintained that the facility when handed over, the state government would help generate international conferences.
The Minister of Works and Housing, who said he was on a visit on the directive of Mr. president to inspect the mausoleum to know how it was working after inauguration.
While saying that Zik belonged to Nigeria, the Minister stressed the need for the people of Anambra State to ensure that Zik’s place of final rest was kept in good condition.
He commended the willingness of the state government to lead in the management and maintenance of the mausoleum, adding that with the kind of commitment shown by Anambra State Government, ownership the Federal Government was looking for would be assured.