Buhari Storms Anambra Thursday To Commission Zik’s Mausoleum
From Osiberoha Osibe (Awka)
President Muhammad Buhari is billed to arrive Onitsha, Anambra State commercial nerve-centre to commission Zik’s Mausoleum, the permanent tomb built in honour of the first president of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige disclosed this in a chat with newsmen at Ukpo, Dunukofia Local Government Area.
While there, he graced the 70th birthday anniversary of a philanthropist and business tycoon, Prince Arthur Eze and 27th Ofala Festival of the traditional ruler of Ukpo, His Royal Highness, Robert Eze, the Eze n’Ukpo weekend.
Ngige pointed out that past administrations had made unfulfilled promises to complete the project, adding that the completion and the scheduled commissioning of the Mausoleum is an indication that president Buhari does not hate Igbo people contrary to general impression.
“This is one project that is very dear to the heart of President Buhari. He holds Zik in high esteem and loves Ndigbo as against unfounded claims that the present administration does not love Ndigbo.
“On two occasions, he had picked two prominent sons of Igbo land as his running mate.
“He deserves the votes of Ndigbo in 2019 so that an Igbo man would keep alive his hope of succeeding him.
“The Igbos now have the Yorubas to contend with for the Office of the Vice President in 2023. Ndigbo needs to vote wisely now”.
The Works, Housing and Power Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola was in Anambra State a fortnight ago on inspection visit to Zik’s permanent burial site to find out the extent of work.
He confirmed the completion and arrangement for the President to visit and commission the project site before the end of the year.
Zik’s Mausoleum is made up of the main building, administrative block and a residential house and is uniquely positioned to serve as a tourist site as the structure has a central tower.
The contract for the construction of the Mausoleum was first awarded after the death of Dr. Azikiwe some 22 years ago.
Thereafter, successive governments have had to revoke and revise the contract sum, the last being the Goodluck Jonathan administration. The project was re-awarded on 14th January 2013 at N1.49 billion and was billed for completion in 13 months, but failed.
It was finally awarded to Bouygues Construction Nigeria Limited (BNL) in 2014 while work started in 2015 and got completed in September 2018.
Buhari had before his election in 2015 visited Zik’s son and his bosom friend, the late Chukwuemeka Azikiwe and promised to complete the project if elected.