From Magnus Eze, Enugu and Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has said only unity could solve the multitude of problems confronting the nation.
Ahmed stated this, yesterday, at Igbere in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, when he led a long list of eminent Nigerians to join the Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, at the family’s 10th memorial of their patriarch, Chief Joseph Nsiegbe Kalu.
Governors David Umahi (Ebonyi), Hope Uzondimma (Imo) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) attended the event.
Other notables who attendee the event included Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator Theodore Orji, Nkeiru Onyejiocha, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu, Obinna Chidoka, former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief Chris Uba, and leader of Ndigbo, Lagos, Gen. Obi Umahi (retd).
He said Nigeria needed all hands to be on deck to make meaningful progress.
Lawan, who was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Nwannedinamba I of Igbere (brother in the diaspora) by the Igbere traditional rulers’ Council, said truly he has a brother in Kalu, having been his roommate at the University of Maiduguri in the early ‘80s.
Describing Abia as a unity state, he said the fact that senators Theodore Orji and Enyinnaya Abaribe, both of whom were of different political parties with Kalu, graced the occasion proved that unity reigns supreme in Abia. He said Nigeria was designed to be of many people, but with a common purpose.
He said the unity in Abia was enough to propel its people or others from the Southeast to go for the biggest seat in the land.
He said: ”With the cream of people here, you can see that there is unity amongst us, not minding our political persuasions. You can see the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senator T. A. Orji, they are here today to be with Kalu, the Chief Whip.
“So, what’s happening here today is not politics. We can achieve more when we’re united. Nigeria has been designed to be a country of different people, yet, with common purpose. So, with unity, there is nothing we can’t achieve. Abia is a home of unity. Out of the 20 positions in the NASS leadership, Abia has three.
“So, let’s try to be at the centre of action in Nigeria. In fact, let’s try to even lead Nigeria. When we continue to unite in Abia or South East, we can make it possible.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, said it was always good for a man to bring up his children in good and responsible way as did Kalu’s father.
He said that the president was highly proud of Kalu and identified with him even at this moment.
Congratulating Chief (Mrs) Eunice Uzor Kalu and her children for the honour done the patriarch of the family, even in death, he said he was happy to be associated with the Kalu family.
Consoling Mrs Kalu, Buhari said although her husband may have died years back, but the children he left behind should be a source of pride to her.
The first phase of the event kicked off at exactly noon with an opening prayer. Prelate of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Nzie Nsi Eke, blessed the venue.
This was followed by the Bible reading taken by the chief host, Sen. Kalu, from Genesis 50:15-21.
The Prelate, in his homily, said it was good for man to live upright life while alive.
He extolled the good qualities of the man whose children were celebrating, adding that if the patriarch of the Kalu family had not lived worthy of emulation, his children would not have got urge to celebrate his demise 10 years after.
He urged the living to lead life that would make those they leave behind to always remember them even when they had left this sinful world.
With a heart filled with gratitude, Kalu said they were not mourning but celebrating their father who meant so much to them.
He said: “A man who left people like us behind would not say he did not leave great people behind. He left behind people whot are intellectually and financially sound and have at any point in time made him proud.”
Kalu said when his father was alive, he willed that his children should not, in burying him, mourn as people without hope.
He explained that it was for that reason they were not mourning, but celebrating his death 10 years after.
He thanked his friends from across the country, especially Senate President, Lawan, his colleagues and some governors who have always stood by him and the family.
Speaker after speaker, including Governor Hope Uzodinma, Senators T. A. Orji, Abaribe and others eulogised the Kalus.