Foremost Civil Servant, Udoji, Interred

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The remains of foremost civil servant, Chief Jerome Udoji, was laid to rest on Friday at the premises of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Council of Anambra.The  Udoji, who was born in 1912, died on April 2. Francis Cardinal Arinze, the Prefect, Congregation of the Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacrament, Vatican City, in his sermon said the life and times of Udoji reflected how men should love themselves.“ What we do to our neighbours is important in our efforts to make heaven,” Arinze said.Describing him as a good Christian and one who promoted peace and the well being of others, Arinze stressed the need for Christians to earn their money legitimately.He said the massive turn out at the burial revealed that Udoji had contributed immensely to the development of the country.“If you are charitable to the needy, you are in turn asking God to have mercy on you,” he added.In his remarks, Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra, said he was impressed with the large turn out of people to pay their respects to the deceased.Obi, who described Udoji as one of the few Nigerians that projected the good image of the country internationally, recalled that the Udoji Award improved the living standard of civil servants.The governor said that the state secretariat complex had been named after the elder statesman.He enjoined the Federal Government to recognise and honour Udoji during the nation’s 50th anniversary.In his condolence message, eminent jurist, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, said Udoji was a good civil servant and a man of his words.Also speaking, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyawu, described Udoji as “ a leader who lived by example and was committed to the unity of Nigeria.“ Udoji laid a solid foundation for Ohaneze Ndigbo and I think that the Igbos owed him a lot.”The President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Amb. Ralph Uwechue, former vice-president, Dr Alex Ekwueme and Chief Arthur Eze, were among dignitaries who paid their last respects.Others were PDP Zonal Chairman, South-East, Chief Olisa Metu and former governor of old Abia, Mr Ogbonna Onu.