President Muhammadu Buhari has completed the mausoleum in honour of Nigeria’s first president, Nnamdi Azikiwe, what the Peoples Democratic Party failed to do during all its 16 years in power.
Azikiwe, a foremost Nigerian nationalist died on 11 May 1996, during the Abacha administration. He was 92 years old.
A Mausoleum was to be erected in his honour. A contract was awarded and work started 21 years ago.
Zik Mausoleum at Inira Onisa Onitsha
In 16 years of the PDP in control of Nigerian affairs, Zik was totally forgotten, his memory consigned to the dustbin of history, by the rapacious regime, even as members helped themselves to the commonwealth and looted the treasury. The mausoleum was abandoned and it became the playground of all kinds of reptiles.
It took the Buhari administration just in three years, to face the project squarely, despite dwindling finances of the country and deliver the mausoleum.
Interior of the Rest Mansion
Fashola and Ngige at the Zik Mausoleum
On Monday, 10 December, Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola was at the mausoleum site in Zik’s famous town of Onitsha, Anambra State to declare the project completed, 21 years after.
Fashola, who came in company of Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity described the completion of the project as `promise kept’.
“During the build up to 2015 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari made commitment that he would complete Azikiwe’s mausoleum. Today Mr President has kept his words and we are happy,” he said.
Part of the Mausoleum
Fashola said though furnishing of the monument was yet to be accomplished, the federal government would before long do it. It is a promise and the administration will surely fulfil it.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Ngige who also spoke, described the completion of the Mausoleum as sign of `Mr President’s open and fair leadership style’.
“As a South East son, I am happy that this project for the memory of our late father and son was finally completed, it is a big honour done to our people by Mr President,” he said.