Enugu moves to turn late Zik’s residence to tourist attraction

By Obinna Achi, Enugu
Enugu State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has announced plans by the
state government to turn the residence of the nation’s first
President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe into a tourist centre.
Speaking on Monday when he paid a courtesy call on the widow of the
late politician, Dame Uche Azikiwe, the governor promised to renovate
the building called Onuiyi Haven into a tourist centre.
Accompanied by a forner Minister of Information, Chief Nnia Nwodo;
Second Republic politician, Chief Maxi Ukuta; the Chairman of Nsukka
Local Government Area, Prof. Mrs. Rose Onah and other top government
functionaries, the governor said they were at the residence to pay
their respects and express the courtesies and the goodwill of the
government and the people of Enugu State to the family of the late
politician.
The governor thanked and commended Dr. Azikiwe’s wofe for the family’s
continued support and service to the state government and the entire
nation.
He also commended the former first lady for upholding the legacies of
her late husband, describing him as “the undisputed icon of Nigerian
nationalism, most revered statesman, political philosopher, nation
builder, international political figure, celebrated journalist,
author, orator and more importantly, our beloved father and brother.”
Ugwuanyi also appreciated the relationship between the people of Enugu
State and Dr Azikiwe, adding that “we are very proud to have been
associated with such a legendary personality.”
Recounting the accomplishment of Dr. Azikiwe to the South East, he
stated that “As the Premier of Eastern Nigeria (with Enugu as
capital), he made many visionary and enduring contributions to the
development of the State including the establishment of the University
of Nigeria, Nsukka – the first indigenous university in Nigeria – as
well as many important government institutions, organisations and
edifices some of which are still standing today.
“He also made Nsukka his permanent home and was a notable advocate for
the creation of Wawa (ie Enugu) State.
“We have as a government, decided to honour him once more by
renovating and turning his official residence in Enugu (i.e the
Premier’s residence) into a tourist centre so that the whole world can
join us to appreciate and celebrate his enduring legacies.”
Ugwuanyi noted. He added that the honour was “the least we can do for
a person of his stature and accomplishments, more so, one with such
close historical, political and social bonds with Enugu State and her
people.”
The governor also pointed out that the late former President did not
only refuse to name the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) after
himself, he also turned down all entreaties and pressures to name the
institution after him, adding that such gestures were a demonstration
of “his patriotic spirit, selflessness and altruism.”

Responding, Prof. Azikiwe thanked the governor for the “surprise”
visit, saying that it was the first visit by any governor of Enugu and
Anambra states to Onuiyi Haven since 1999.
She praised the governor for his giant strides in the state and prayed
to God to continue to bless his efforts to take Enugu State to greater
heights. Prof. Azikiwe promised to assist the state government to
provide some Zik’s personal items for display in the proposed tourist
centre.

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