By Uche Amunike
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma has renamed the Heroes Square, Owerri after the first Military Administrator of the old Imo State, Late Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu who died on January 13, 2021.
He made this announcement when the remains of the former Administrator was brought to the Imo State Government House for lying-in-State and Commendation service.
He affirmed that the decision to rename Heroes Square was taken after due consultation and executive order as it applies to his office.
At a brief ceremony held to receive Admiral Kanu’s remains at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, shortly before his lying-in-state and commendation service, the governor among other things, said the popular Heroes Square Stadium which is situated in the heart of Owerri was renamed after the late Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, because he was a Naval Officer whose administration impacted positively on the economy and infrastructure of Imo State, therefore, deserved to be given the credit for the Owerri Master Plan.
He described Admiral Kanu as a prominent Igbo son who served his people, his state and country with a passion and who was instrumental to the return of democracy being enjoyed by Nigeria today because of his dogged involvement and other like minds in the National Democratic Coalition, (NADECO).
His words: ‘Admiral Kanu will be sorely missed by Imo people, Ndigbo, Nigeria, the Military, particularly the Navy Community, his Civil Society associates and all those who came in contact with him. We pray God for the repose of Admiral Kanu’s soul and also commiserate with the family for the loss, while asking God to console them,’ Uzodimma said.
The state Deputy Governor, Professor Placid Njoku, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Paul Emeziem and former Governor of Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim were among dignitaries who witnessed the making of history as Uzodimma renamed the Heroes Square after a worthy patriot.
The state Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr Eches Divine Eches described the late Ndubuisi as a rare gem who believed and trusted God in all he did.
Also present was Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Awwal Zubairu-Gambo, represented by Flag Officer Commanding Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Rear admiral Kennedy Egbuchulem at the event; The Commandant of Nigerian Naval College Finance and Logistics, Owerrinta, Navy Captain Usman Masari Bugaje; Military officers at the airport included also Commandant of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, Brigadier Gen. S.B. Utsha and the Commandant of Imo State Air Force Command, Group Captain Idowu Ayo.
In his funeral oration, Kelly Ndubuisi Kanu said his father left a huge shoe that might not be easy for his children to wear but assured that by God’s grace they will not disappoint their late father.
He thanked Governor Hope Uzodimma for thinking it wise to rename the Heroes Square after his father, saying that it was a big honour and that the family appreciated it. He also thanked the people of Imo, Abia and Lagos States for honouring his father and according him a befitting burial.