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Is Ojukwu dead?

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Askari Kanzu, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

    Aug 11, 2011
    Joined: Jan 7, 2011
    Messages: 4,526
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    Reports start to appear on the net that former Biafran leader Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, died today at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, in the UK, where he has been receiving medical attention since December 2010 after he suffered a stroke. He was aged 78.


    NB. This is not the first time such rumours appear on the net. In December 2010 it was widely rumoured that Ojukwu was dead. This turned out to be not true.

    About Ojukwu

    The former soldier, and chieftain of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), was was born on November 4, 1933, at Zungeruin northern Nigeria to Sir Louis Phillippe Odumegwu Ojukwu, a businessman from Nnewi in southeastern Nigeria. Sir Louis was in the transport business, and was one of the richest men in Nigeria by the time he died in 1966.

    Emeka, as he was fondly called, began his educational career in Lagos. In 1944, the young Ojukwu was briefly imprisoned for assaulting a white British colonial teacher who was humiliating a black woman at King's College in Lagos; an event which generated widespread coverage in local newspapers At 13, his father sent him overseas to study in Britain, first at Epsom College, in Surrey. He later earned a Masters degree in history at Lincoln College, Oxford University. Thereafter, he returned to Nigeria in 1956.

    He joined the civil service in Eastern Nigeria as an Administrative Officer at Udi, in present-day Enugu State. In 1957, within months of working with the colonial civil service, he left and joined the military as one of the first and few university graduates to join the army. His popular background and sound education guaranteed his promotion to higher ranks. After serving in the United NationsÂ’ peacekeeping force in the Congo, under Major General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Odumegwu-Ojuwkwu was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1964 and posted to Kano, where he was in charge of the 5th Battalion of the Nigerian Army.

    He was in Kano, northern Nigeria, when Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, on January 15, 1966, executed and announced the bloody military coup in Kaduna. Odumegwu-Ojukwu supported the forces loyal to the Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Major-General Aguiyi-Ironisi.

    Thus, when Aguiyi-Ironsi took over the leadership of the country in 1966, he appointed Odumegwu-Ojukwu as the Military Governor of Eastern Region. By May 29, 1966, a planned pogrom in northern Nigeria, during which Igbos were targeted and killed, presented problems for the young military governor. He did everything in his power to prevent reprisals and encouraged people to return, as assurances for their safety had been given by his supposed colleagues up north and out west.

    Events later worsened, leading Odumegwu-Ojukwu to declare that the Igbos would secede from Nigeria and form a sovereign state, called Biafra. A civil war ensued in 1967 and ended in 1970 with Odumegwu Ojukwu leaving the country on self exile. After 13 years, the federal government granted him an official pardon and he returned in 1982. He was chosen by APGA as its presidential candidate for the April 2007 elections, which was won by Olusegun Obasanjo.

    Wenye habari zaidi watujuze!