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Cletus Opata, seasoned administrator and politician, to be buried Nov 27

Author:
Jesupemi Are

The burial of Cletus Opata, a politician, will take place on November 27.

In a statement on Tuesday on behalf of the family and a local organising committee (LOC) constituted for the burial, Obinna, Cletus Opata’s son, said the politician will be buried in his hometown at Lejja, Nsukka LGA of Enugu state.

Opata died on May 18, 2021.

The Opata family asked well-wishers to join them in paying last respects to the beloved icon.

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According to Obinna, the body will lie in state at the Enugu house of assembly and the Nsukka LG headquarters on November 25. There will also be a wake at his residence on Ogurugu road, Nsukka, on November 26.

A funeral mass to be conducted by Godfrey Onah of the Nsukka Catholic diocese at the Federal Government Girls’ College (FGGC), Lejja, will precede the burial at the family compound at Umuoda village in Lejja on November 27, while a reception will follow on the sports field of FGGC, Lejja.

The burial was earlier planned for November 5, but was postponed till November 27 due to the sit-at-home threat by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) which is scheduled to run from November 5 to November 10.

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Opata studied history at the University of Ibadan from 1963 to 1966, but had to complete the programme at the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1967 due to the Nigerian civil war which he fought on the Biafran side.

He entered into politics after he resigned as a school principal and was elected chairman of Nsukka urban divisional council in 1974. Following the LGA reform of 1976, Opata was elected first chairman of Nsukka LGA.

He was a founding member of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and won a house of assembly seat on the party’s platform in 1979.

He was later appointed as commissioner for education during the administration of Okwesilieze Nwodo, governor of Enugu between 1992 and 1993.

Opata is survived by his wife, six children, eight grandchildren, an elder sister, and several nephews and nieces.

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