Emeka Offor, one of Nigeria’s most controversial government contractors, finally buried his father on Friday, November 18, a whole nine months after the 88-year-old former policeman died in his hometown of Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area in Anambra State. The elder passed on after a minor scuffle with a female family member.
The burial, which was marketed to be a gathering of the world’s leaders and celebrities in solidarity with the businessman, was marked by the conspicuous absence of all those advertised as dignitaries to grace the occasion.
Six days to the burial, Nigerian newspapers like Vanguard and Herald had reported that Donald Trump, the American president-elect, would join President Muhammadu Buhari and “other African leaders” to honor the Offors. The reports were based on a press statement by one Tony Obi, described as the vice chairman of the Pa Bennett Offor Burial Committee, headed by former Senate President Ken Nnamani.
Offor had earlier at the All Saints Anglican Church at Irefi, Oraifite, announced at a service presided over by The Reverend Canon C. C. Igwenazor, that Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, who is the primate of the Anglican Church worldwide, would officiate at his father’s requiem service. Addressing the congregation made up of mostly villagers, Offor asked Igwenazor to get him a list of 13 bishops who would join Archbishop Welby at the service.
“We are not surprised that these bishops did not come because no arrangements whatsoever were made for their participation, but we are shocked that no Federal Government officials, including those from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation where our brother has been doing multi-billion dollar businesses for decades attended our papa’s funeral,” said a member of the family to our correspondent. Not even Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State bothered to be at the event. Obiano managed to send his wife the following day to commiserate with Offor’s mother.
Among the few political figures who attended the burial were Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Speaker Yakubu Dogara of the House of Representatives, former national chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Victor Umeh, and chief executive of Capital Oil, Ifeanyi Uba.