Every people, race or ethnic tribe has a unique history. This history always revolves around leaders who did what was right and those that did what was wrong. Ndigbo in Nigeria has a unique history which rotates around the pivot of world class human beings. But of all the very prominent leaders of Ndigbo since the earliest pages of our history none has left as much impact on the physical and spiritual psyche of Ndigbo as was done by Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Ikemba Nnewi, Eze Igbo Gburugburu! This translates in a way that Ojukwu over the time became the single individual that loved Ndigbo more than anybody before him and even till now after him.
In some other climes, Ojukwu has earned his right to be revered and worshipped like a god. The Hausas in Nigeria still bow at the mention of Uthman Dan Fodio and grandson Ahmadu Bello. The Yorubas still see a god-figure in Obafemi Awolowo. The Chinese genuflect at the mention Chairman Mao. The Americans still rever George Washington. The British can never forget Wilson Churchhill. The list can go on and on. Now, these great enigmas are not revered like gods because they had more than one head, two legs and two hands. Rather, they are deified because they expressed unprecedented love for their people which they manifested in rare sacrifice for the overall good of their people; their race; their tribes.
Unarguably, the only name that qualifies to be received with uncommon regard and respect is Odumegwu Ojukwu. It is pertinent to mention that Ojukwu was not born into the royalty and stardom of leadership of Ndigbo just like any other leaders of Ndigbo. Rather, he metamorphosed into the status of Moses, David and Jesus combined through a rare display of undiluted love for Ndigbo. Others may have done anything to satisfy one political exigency or another but Ojukwu showed love for Ndigbo and indeed the then entire eastern region without any evidence of pecuniary political designs. In fact, to buttress this, we must remember that he contributed majorly in foiling the coup of 1966 in Nigeria to show that he also had a true love for “One Nigeria”. But when he underscored the hidden agenda of the northerners to exterminate the Igbo race from Nigeria and probably from the world, Ojukwu put “One Nigeria” aside and began the fight to save Ndigbo and other easterners from total massacre. He did this through what we can today describe as “One Biafra”!
This alone, not undermining various evidence of his commitment to giving a voice to Ndigbo and place of respect and pride to them, qualifies Ojukwu for the recognition, regard and respect he has kept enjoying and will keep enjoying among successive generations of Ndigbo for centuries to come. Unfortunately, today in 2017 when the very thing Ojukwu symbolizes is on its greatest trial, somme so called leaders of Ndigbo are fighting Ojukwu with the spirit of sabotage. I was some time in the past led to describe the deceptive ways of such pseudo-leaders as “Voices of Ojukwu and hands of Ifeajuna!” Remember that Emmanuel Ifeajuna paid the supreme price for sabotaging the efforts of Ojukwu to reposition Ndigbo in their God-given land in the east. Indeed, my reader will agree with me that there are reincarnations of Ifeajuna among leaders of Ndigbo today.
These class of turncoats and whitewashed demons are also known to be among the loudest singers of Ojukwu’s alleluia. Many of them became governors and whatever they are today in the obnoxious Nigerian government because of their deceptive flying of flags bearing the great image of Ojukwu. They presented Ojukwu as thei god! But today Biafra is so unspeakable to them! Do they expect Ojukwu to lie easy in the other realm and be happy with them?
Was Ojukwu a fool when he saw reason with the elders of the east on May 30, 1967 to declare the Republic of Biafra? If he was a fool why did those cheats that today deny Biafra not tell Ojukwu to his face that he was a fool in declaring Biafra? I remember Ojukwu stating when he was asked whether he could muster another civil war that while he was certain what he could do under another threat of war against Ndigbo, he could not speak for the generation that will grow after him! This is that generation facing even worst conditions than Ojukwu detested and fought against and saboteurs of this generation are now calling their fathers fools. Yes, anybody among Ndigbo who now muzzles the agitation for Biafra and still pontificates anything good about Ojukwu is a cheat, a liar, indeed a thief!
What use is there in a confessed leader of Ndigbo not seeing the sufferings of Ndigbo in the hands of successive governments of Nigeria? When Ojukwu was a governor did he look the other way seeking how to beg Hausas to accept Ndigbo? Did Ojukwu in any way force Ndigbo to see their destiny in Nigeria as dependent on their willingness to surrender their integrity to Hausas and Yorubas? Was Ojukwu wrong in creating an Igbo party upon which platform Ndigbo can negotiate better for their rights in Nigeria? Why then would a shameless so-called leader of Ndigbo become a governor on the platform of the Igbo party founded by Ojukwu only to destabilize the party and begin a shocking drag and pull of Ndigbo into an Hausa/Muslim party? This is the highest height of unpardonable betrayal of Ojukwu which should be regard gravely in the same light as the sabotage of Ojukwu by Emmanuel Ifeajuna!
Whichever way this latest surge of the struggle for Biafra goes at the end, the utterances and actions of everybody is being well documented for reference by the next generation. For instance, till today Ndigbo still berate Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe for taking the emotion of “One Nigeria” too far. They remember sadly that while the north were priding in their Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), Zik was more interested in Nigeria and Cameroons! I had since asked why did Zik and his fellow fore-runners in leadership of Ndigbo at that time not create Eastern Peoples Congress (EPC) at that time! Successive generations of Ndigbo will always remember their progenitors in leaders just as common with normal human beings anywhere to do. The so-called leader of Ndigbo in this generation should always bear it in mind that whether he is alive or dead, posterity will always judge him by what he added to what he inherited by way of leading Ndigbo.
Anybody who is not in support of Biafra at any time since 1967 is not a friend of Ojukwu and by extension is not a friend of Ndigbo. The future of such criminal leaders that like the biblical Judas betray and sell Ndigbo ten a pence for their personal political ambitions in this completely fractured and fragmented Nigeria is so endangered both spiritually in the hands of the Great Ojukwu himself and physically in the hands of the elders and youths that are risking their lives and personal comforts for the fighting to secure the freedom of Ndigbo from the Nigeria that so hate them. Let every reincarnated Ifeajuna among the leaders of Ndigbo in this generation beware! Ndigbo still vividly remember what Ojukwu did to Ifeajuna, the saboteur! And Ndigbo would rather follow Ojukwu and his apostles and disciples than line behind a traitor and betrayer of Ndigbo! All concerned must take note!