Enugu govt to give Mr. Ibu, Junior Pope befitting burial



The government of Enugu State has promised the families of late actors, John Okafor, alias Mr. Ibu and Junior Pope Odonwodo that they will be given befitting burial.

While Mr. Ibu died from a cardiac arrest on March 2 at Evercare Hospital in Lagos, Junior Pope died on April 10 after the boat he was in capsized in River Niger, Anambra State on his way to a movie location.

Ibu, who died at 62, had battled with a life-threatening illness for months before he passed on.

Last week, the family of Mr Ibu announced that the actor will be buried on June 28.

Speaking with NAN on Friday, Aka Eze Aka, the state commissioner for information, described their deaths as a “terrible blow to the government of Enugu”.

He said the state government is committed to giving the Nollywood actors a “befitting burial”.

The commissioner said although no date has been fixed for Pope, the government is working together with his family on the burial arrangement.

Mr. Ibu

“Being a part of his burial committee on individual capacity, I will relate to the government what the family want,” he said.

“His death was a national calamity and a tragic event that shocked the whole nation.

“We felt that there are so many fans who would like to express themselves by saying one or two things about him and we opened a condolence register to allow them do that.

“The government does not celebrate death but when it happened, we do the needful.”

The commissioner added that the state government would be represented during Mr Ibu’s burial.

Aka said Enugu government held back on its condolence message because of the circumstances surrounding Pope’s death.

“A lot of people expected the state to jump the gun to begin to say one or two things about his death but it is only in Nigeria that people rush to break the news about somebody’s death without immediately knowing the sensibilities and feelings of the family,” he added.

“This young man died on Wednesday and Enugu State Government got the news and was waiting for a confirmation as there were some stories that he was not dead, he is still alive, he has left the mortuary and was to be buried beside the river.

“Some of these stories did not go down well with us as we try to know what was happening. So on Thursday when Actors Guild issued a statement confirming the death, we still wanted to get across to the family.

“When we did, we did not get the contact of the family as many of us did not know he came from Enugu.”


Pope is a native of Ukehe in the Igbo-Etiti council area of Enugu, while Mr Ibu hailed from Amuri in Nkanu west.

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