June 19, 2009

No division in our family, says Onoh’s son

Dr. Josef  Umun nakwe Onoh is  last son of the late elder statesman, Chief Christian Chukwuma Onoh (C.C. ) as he was fondly called.

The former old Anambra state governor  passed on last April and will be buried July 3. Josef also called Ken, a former Enugu state House of Assembly member, in this interview, dispels rumours of infighting in the late sage’s family since his demise.

He also talks about Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu’s role as an in-law.

What will you miss most about your father?

Basically, like every other human beings what I will miss is his domineering presence, I will miss his stubbornness. I will miss his arguments, and I will miss the warm affection that we get to give each other each time we stayed together. That’s the much I will miss about him.

We heard there is problem in the Onoh family since he left?

In any event like this,  there are bound to be rumours. There are always bound to be human differences in every single family. Whether living or dead, there is always problem but it depends on how it is managed.

But as far as I am concerned, we don’t have any problem yet. Everyone is on his own. Everybody is a self made man.  So you don’t really need the other per se.

Is Onoh’s property in dispute?

That, precisely for now, I don’t think there is. Because I am quite sure that during my father’s life time, he made provisions for every body and everybody has their own. If there will be any dispute, at least for now, it has not arisen.

How is your mother reacting to the death?

With a woman that has been blessed with such children as we are, I think she has something to console herself. She is strong and capable.

Do you think that you, his children can replace the vacuum he created as a figure, especially in Wawaland?

From the way I was raised and from the value I understood, my father before my father’s father, had his own foot steps to work.

And in all you do, it’s always right to be your own part. In as much as my father left a big vacuum, he left is his own way, and I, as Dr. Onoh, will actually leave my own way.

I mustn’t actually toe his own part because his ways may not be my way;  neither will his thoughts be my thoughts. So, I think the vacuum he has left at the end of time, when I am no longer there, then I will be vindicated on whether I filled the vacuum or not.

I mean his champion for creation of Enugu state. So, politically, are you going to continue his way?

Oh, yes!  I will give my life for Enugu state, and it’s a struggle I grew up seeing him go through and it’s a struggle we all as his kids paid dearly for.

Because we rarely had our father around, and if we paid the price, I do not see the reason I should not champion that struggle.

Enugu state government is championing your father’s burial. But to what extend are you people going to be part of it?

I respect the fact that Enugu state is championing my father’s burial. But I have always done things my own way, and in as much as Enugu state is doing hers, I also believe that I’ve worked hard in life to also add in my own little contribution, not minding Enugu state is doing her own. I am blessed enough to also bury my father. So, I am also burying my father my own way.

What role is the Ojukwu family playing in the burial?

Basically, His Excellency, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, is my in-law. And whatever has affected me has affected him, and there is no difference in the level of grief I feels and that he feels. He is part of the family and we are doing our best.