Odumegwu Ojukwu: The man who saw tomorrow, By Joe Okei-Odumakin

Okei-Odumakin

Sweet is the remembrance of the righteous says the good book and we can say same of all men and women who came into this world and left indelible marks in the sands of time.

Such is the life of Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu whose post-humous birthday is being celebrated.

With the burial of what was mortal of him, it is safe to say that Dim Ojukwu has entered the season post-life career as the battles he fought and the whole life he lived continue to be focal points in our search for nationhood.

The vexed issues of our federalism came to a head in just 7 years after independence and Ojukwu had to lead Eastern Nigeria in an armed dialogue with Nigeria lasting three and a half years with millions of lives lost.

While it would have been more gracious to address the issues at stake without the festival of bayonet, there is no doubting the fact the very issues Ojukwu wanted us to address in 1966 are the same confronting us today in a nastier version.

In the order of hypocrisy that has become our national badge of dishonour, we papered our cracks with a vacuous “no victor, no vanquished” pretensions, we refused to address how the rain beat us; not to talk of looking at how the rain will not beat us again.

Ever after the war has continued in different guises and now we are moving at top speed on the road to Kigali as bombs ravage city-upon city with needless loss of innocent lives.

We cannot continue to live in this denial as we inch towards the brink each passing day.

In the last few years of his life, Ojukwu was strong in demand for a National Conference to address these issues.

If we feared his “warlord” face while he was alive, can we now herken his baritone voice from the other side of eternity?

Time is runnıng out!

Above is a remark by Dr.Okei-Odumakin, President, Campaign for Democracy (CD) and Women Arise (WA) at the birthday of Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, organized by the Igbo community in Lagos, Sunday, November 4, 2012 @ the National Stadium Iganmu Lagos.


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  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    God Bless you, Joe. Those of us who speak our minds candidly about this ‘nation’ are the only true patriots. If Nigeria refuses to address the concerns of the constituents regions, then it is our christian duty to bring about its dissolution.

    • Eziokwu bu Ndu

      It is obvious that Nigeria is at critical point of its exixtence. With injustice garnishing every of its policies from Federal Character, through Alimajiri and normadic education to NYSC and many more, all meant ot serve the needs of just northern Nigeria, we should be getting prepared to address these injustices or be what we were originally created to be – different people, seperate countries or nations(?)

  • Eziokwu bu Ndu

    Thank you, Dr Okei-Odumakin. Let us agree that Nigeria is just waking up to the reality of what Ojukwu saw decades ago. The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the next best time is now!

  • Eziokwu bu Ndu

    Are there no fishermen in Niger delta/South South? Why not a federal education commission for them? How about boy-traders in the south east? How is it just and fair that the north will squander its resources on just a few politicians and traditional leaders, refuse to invest in their human capital and depend 95% on corps members for its PRODUCTIVE work force? This is one of the harms Gowon did to the South in favour of the North, a people he slaved for but who gives him the least recognition among its leaders. For many years, the north has continued to kick against abolition of NYSC scheme. Weighed benefits against disadvantages, that scheme is serving no useful purpse. Can we match the number of Southern corps members deliberately killed in the north against those from the north (if any) killed in the south?

  • Eziokwu bu Ndu

    It doesn’t matter how long it takes to be generally accepted, Ojukwu has gone up in history as the man to whose vision the future of Nigeria and its beautiful people is tied, Nigeria must not be ashamed to say, “Ojukwu was a special man; his opinion was and remains superior; let us put it to work and save the future of our people and their many millions of unborn children” God and the world are watching

    • Dan-Hausa

      A man responsible for the death of over 1.5 million people should be myopic and blurred in his vision. Please remember that the iyamiri was the first to stage a bloodiest coup because of their naivety and their blood thirst habit.

  • Oludotun Malomo

    In Nigeria we love DENIAL. Hope this would be ultimate denial.
    May God save us

  • segun

    Now I am interested in this conversation purely from the standpoint of consistency of thought in argument especially in the light of Chinua Achebe’s LIES and questionable positions in his book and how the same people I see here talk about Ojukwu’s “Federalism” are also the same group of people who claim (i) Awolowo was a “tribalist” who (ii) massacred the Igbos(in other words went in arms against Ojukwu) in order for the Yorubas to “rise”. Now let us look at the issue of consistency in thought.
    For those who still find time to read books, we all know that Awolowo was one of the chief theoreticians of federalism in Nigeria. His books are the factual testimonies for this observation. Now for being a chief federalist he was called a “tribalist”-someone who belonged to those Mr Achebe said did not want a united Nigeria. Now Ojukwu who Achebe went to war with and served as the Chief propagandist for is the federalist here in Okei’s essay. I like the irony especially in the light of Achebe’s para-logic! Now this is not the point yet. The point is: Is Ojukwu also a “tribalist” for being a federalist like Awolowo the Chief theoretician of Federalism? Or is it that if an Igbo person talks about “federalism” he is not a “tribalist”, he the Igbo person only wants a united Nigeria but if a non-Igbo talks about Federalism and actually theorizes and defends it as Awolowo did consistently through out his political practice, then he is a “tribalist” I am only trying to remind us of what is now turning to be the strange Achebe para-logic and how some people queued behind that para-logic recently. I guess my question borders on a basic academic requirement in discourse which is consistency in thought. I think this failure to pay attention to this basic requirement in thought and in writing is what marred Achebe’s so called book and perhaps eternally called Achebe’s intellectual and academic integrity to question. This is the issue: When I read posts like the posts of some of the commentators I see here, I wonder what precisely is our problem or the problem. I think the problem is that we find it extremely difficult in this country to allow our suggestions to be guided by basic rationality and perhaps reason. I am asking everyone here to live by their words including Achebe who thru his book might have poisoned Nigeria’s well for a while. I hope we all recover from that. Let me repeat myself for the purpose of clarity. Achebe said Igbo leaders were the only ones that wanted a united Nigeria. In other words, non-Igbo like Awolowo (whose political practice was consistently informed by federalism)did not want a united Nigeria. In other words, Mr. Achebe deliberately misrepresented Awolowo’s Federalist positions either out of Achebe’s intellectual ignorance or dubious tribalist politicking . But Awolowo’s politics and political practice had consistently being informed by the principles of federalism( he practised, called for, defended and theorized this)-and for this reason he was branded a “tribalist”. Now Ojukwu, Achebe’s (the Biafra minister of information and Chief Biafra propangandist) war commander is supposed to be a federalist, and given that Achebe worked for Ojukwu then Ojukwu cannot be a “tribalist”. Right? My plea? I think we will begin to solve our problem in this country the day we become consistent and allow the basic principle of rationality to guide our thought and suggestions. I will go as far as saying that we will begin to solve our problems in this country if we allow cold rationality and cold reason to guide our suggestions and thought. Such cold rationality will make us say the truth even if it is against “our tribe”!!! This is not for or against Okei ‘s essay. It is a reminder that some of us recently lined up behind Achebe’s LIES and DUPLICITOUS THOUGHT, when Achebe LIED through both side of his mouth, and we need to remind ourselves that we did.

  • Odumegwu Ojukwu and your forefathers are nothing but killer, robber, pillager and thug, overall looser

  • “Igbo community in Lagos, Sunday, November 4, 2012” why not take your unwanted community and go back to your biafraud, believe it or not you’re an unwanted guest from hell, nobody is stopping your departure