FG spent N1bn on Ekwuemea��s health – Ngige

From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, AWKA
Dr. Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka now wears a new look while the entire Anambra State is agog for the arrival of the remains of the Ide of Aguata and former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
The intense preparations for Ekwuemea��s burial came as the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said on Sunday that President Muhammadu Buhari spent about N1billion on Ekwuemea��s medical bills.
Ngige who spoke after inspecting facilities for burial of the late VP at Ekwuemea��s hometown in Oko, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State said Buhari is committed to giving him a befitting burial.
Ngige claimed that road rehabilitation alone in Anambra and neighbouring communities of Imo and Abia States in preparation for Ekwuemea��s burial had gulped about N480million.
He further said that Federal Government was not leaving anything to chances in ensuring that the Ekwueme family enjoys the role their late patriarch played in building a better Nigeria
His words: a�?You know that I belong to the Ekwueme family; Ia��m part of that family. Ia��m in various committees and sub-committees for the burial of this great statesman. I can tell you authoritatively that Mr. President (Buhari) is committed and passionate in ensuring a befitting burial for Ekwueme.
a�?If he doesna��t come for the burial himself, Ia��m sure the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, will be here as a matter of right.
a�?So, Ia��m here to inspect the facilities in preparation for his burial; and I can tell you that Ia��m satisfied with the progress of work,a�? he said.
Already, the state government has commenced work on internal roads in Oko and its environs, preparatory for the burial.
The Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Inter-Party matters, Chief Ben Obi, said that a virgin four-kilometre road had been created in the area for easy movement during the funeral.
He said that parking bays had been created in about six points, where shuttles would be provided to ferry mourners to the funeral venue, while St. Marya��s Catholic Church, Oko playground would serve as a helipad for the Vice Presidenta��s visit.
Already, the state government has declared Thursday as a work-free day.
In a public service announcement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, all markets and businesses in the state would be closed on that day.

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