By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU—DEFUNCT Biafra Republic came alive, Monday night, when Ohanaeze Ndigbo at the Enugu Sports club, hosted a night of tributes in memory of the late former Secretary-General of the body, the Ikemba of Ahaba and Biafra war veteran, Chief (Col.) Joseph Oseluka Achuzia.
Achuzia died on February 26, 2018 at the aged of 90 years. He will be buried on Friday April 13, 2018.
In a well attended night of tribute organised by the Apex Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the President General of the body, Barr Nnia Nwodo ;lauded the virtues of the Biafran general and called on Ndigbo and Nigerians to emulate the virtues of the patriot. Speaker after speaker at the event narrated their experiences with the military warlord both in Biafra and outside Biafra. The tough soldier fought at almost all fronts in Biafra and dealt a blow to his foes at Onitsha, Oguta, Okigwe and Abagana sectors of the war.
The night of memory recalled how Biafra practically fought self defense against assault by the Nigeria armed forces on Eastern Nigeria government that declared secession on May 1967.
Col. Achuzia’s many names were disclosed, starting from when he was growing up that he was nicknamed “Governor” by his uncle that foresaw the rare traits in him. In Biafra, he was also nicknamed “Hannibal” same as “Air Raid.”
The Achuzia family that attended the night in their numbers said the war veteran resolved the identity problem that some persons of Delta-Igbo have. They said he was proud of the Igboness in him till he died.
His nephew, Chief Ejiofor Onyia said “He protected the Igbo man in every sphere of life. We knew him as Governor in Delta. As a young man, he had shown the characteristics he was made of.”
Another relation of Achuzia who is the Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Delta State, Dr. Olisa Ebigwa spoke in the same manner, noting that the sage never suffered identity crisis. “He was highly patriotic, believed he was an Igbo man to the core and never suffered identity crisis. In 1970, when he was released, he said he had suffered, yet he was focused, assertive and bold. He was a strongman till death,” Diokpa Ebigwa recalled.