Ojukwu's Burial

March 1, 2012

‘Adieu, My Commander-in-Chief’

The Lagos Funeral for Late Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu held at the Tafawa Belewa Square Lagos.

HE was my commander-in-chief. He was the one we all looked up to for leadership, which he greatly provided during the war at 33. He remained the main voice of Ndigbo until he died.

I will miss him personally. His examples of selflessness in giving up his comfort for the greater good of Ndigbo are still there for imitation. Adieu, my commander-in-chief. – Chief C. O. Chiaghana, 71, is Omeile Ndigbo I Na Jos

Ojukwu Remains The Issue In Nigerian Politics — Abaribe

IT is not surprising the great outpouring of tributes and encomiums on the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu since his death.

The Lagos Funeral for Late Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu held at the Tafawa Belewa Square Lagos.

Ikemba represents a genuine struggle for the rights of man and an acceptable renaissance within Nigeria.

In fact he was the ‘issue in Nigeria’s evolutionary process’ and of course it is now a fact of history that all the issues Ikemba fought against in the Nigeria federation have surreptitiously become national mantras amongst true nationalists.

Issues of inequality, respect for the rights of the downtrodden, adherence to the tenets of Nigeria’s unity and the equality of every ethnic nationality in Nigeria have suddenly assumed centre stage in national discourse.

At a point he was sorely misunderstood, especially when dupliticious efforts were made to demonise his duty call by his people to defend the true essence of being in Nigeria.

Today several people have come to endorse his position and have even declared that given the circumstance, they would have done what he did. Such holistic endorsements are coming from those who were on the other side of the conflict.

That being the case, the Nigeria nation will surely miss him.

Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu was a visionary leader whose passion for a Nigeria where every federating unit would be proud of belonging to was unparalleled.

He saw tomorrow and his actions and passion for a truly united Nigeria shaped our socio-political environment of today. He lived truly the historian he was. Today his position in world history is unassailable.

The demise of Ojukwu has unveiled the challenge of injustice in the pursuit of nationalism. The evolution of our sovereignty cannot be complete if we only mumble in the inner recesses of our minds the desire for justice for all, without necessarily revisiting the manifest reason for that CAUSE His Excellency, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu championed.

•Senator Abaribe is Chairman Senate Committee on Media

Adieu, Generational General — Eyiboh

NIGERIA is today is fast becoming an elephant with clay on its feet and the paradox of its unfortunate state is its stunted growth occasioned by injustice, corruption and lack of national consciousness amidst clement weather, persevering population and great human and material resource pool.

Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu represented in life an epitome of a candle that lost nothing in lighting others and in death, a chapter in our seeming desire for unity in diversity and national consciousness. No tribute befits a General of a populist cause, more than our collective determination to effect justice for all and enforce the rule of law that is no respecter of any religion, tribe or man. ‘General’ Ojukwu never lived long enough, but his life of courage and common humanity was good and long enough. He impacted our world and bestrode the corridor of humanity in many uncommon ways. Adieu, Peoples General.

•Hon. Eyiboh is Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Donor Agencies/Civil Society

A Tribute To An Undying Peoples General

By Kalu Ogbaa

CHUKWUEMEKA Odumegwu-Ojukwu, a courageous administrative, military, and sociopolitical leader, the Horatio of the Igbo race – indeed, the legend of Biafra – was a man born into wealth, educated to lead in his family, but instead he chose to train to lead and, if need be, die as a soldier for the greater good of his old country Nigeria (and later on, by ironic twist of fate and history) for his Igbo people.

While on his nation’s service, he fought to save the unity of the old Nigerian nation he loved so much, even when fellow Nigerians attempted to wipe his Igbo people out of the earth. As every contemporary Biafran or Nigerian witnessed, the nation’s burden was upon his shoulders from the beginning of the Nigeria-Biafra War, through its inglorious end, and to the postwar struggles of the Igbo people until the day he was recalled to heaven.

Alas! because of what he did for the Igbo people in both antebellum and post-bellum Nigeria and Biafra, he proudly became his name – a good name which has been etched deep on the tablet of many grateful heart for posterity to read. Adieu, my General! May our paths cross in heaven as they did on earth.

•Professor Ogbaa, author of General Ojukwu: The Legend Of Biafra, wrote from New Haven, Connecticut, US