Comparative Analysis Between Ojukwu & Nmandi Kanu; A Historical Approach By Abubakar Nafiu
Though our respect goes to late Ojukwu, but this historical journey boldly speaks to us that we need to act differently. This is a historical journey, and consider this piece, free from abusive words.
It’s worthwhile to established from what history kept, how IPOB failed then, despite strong forces, and how they are about to fail now in following a mere illegal radio director, with his intention to see innocent Igbos been kill again on a guest for power, seeking popularity, and money making by the common Radio leader not an Army Lt Col anymore, who sacrifices innocent Igbos blood for own interest. Above assertions spells the similarities between Nmandi Kanu and late Ojikwu.
Chukwuemeka “Emeka” Odumegwu-Ojukwu was born on 4 November 1933 at Zungeru in northern Nigeria to Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, a businessman from Nnewi, Anambra State in south-eastern Nigeria. Emeka Ojukwu started his secondary school education at CMS Grammar School, Lagos aged 10 in 1943. He later transferred to King’s College, Lagos in 1944 where he was involved in a controversy leading to his brief imprisonment for assaulting a white British colonial teacher who humiliating a black woman.
However, event generated widespread coverage in local newspapers. At 13, he was sent to study in the UK, first at Epsom College and later at Lincoln College, Oxford University, where he earned Msc in History. He returned to colonial Nigeria in 1956. Ojukwu joined the civil service in Eastern Nigeria as an Administrative Officer, later joined the military as one of the first and few university graduates to join the army as a recruit: O. Olutoye (1956); C. Odumegwu-Ojukwu (1957), Emmanuel Ifeajuna and C. O. Rotimi (1960), and A. Ademoyega (1962). Ojukwu’s background and education guaranteed his promotion to higher ranks. At that time, the Nigerian Military Forces had 250 officers and only 15 were Nigerians. There were 6,400 other ranks, of which 336 were British.
After serving in the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in the Congo, under Major General Johnson Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi, Ojukwu was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1964 and posted to Kano, where he was in charge of the 5th Battalion of the Nigerian Army. Lieutenant-Colonel Ojukwu was in Kano, northern Nigeria, when Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu on 15 January 1966 executed and announced the bloody military coup in Kaduna, also in northern Nigeria. It is to Ojukwu’s credit that the coup lost much steam in the north, where it had succeeded. Lt. Col. Odumegwu-Ojukwu supported the forces loyal to the Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Major-General Aguiyi-Ironisi. Major Nzeogwu was in control of Kaduna, but the coup had failed in other parts of the country. Aguiyi-Ironsi took over the leadership.
On Monday, 17 January 1966, Ironsi appointed military governors for the four regions. Among which Lt. Col. Odumegwu-Ojukwu was appointed Military Governor of Eastern Region. Others were: Lt.-Cols Hassan Usman Katsina (North), Francis Adekunle Fajuyi (West), and David Akpode Ejoor (Mid West). These men formed the Supreme Military Council with Brigadier B.A.O. Ogundipe, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, among others.
On 29 July 1966, a group of officers, including Majors Murtala Muhammed, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, and Martin Adamu, led the majority Northern soldiers in a mutiny that later developed into a “counter-coup”. The coup failed in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria where Ojukwu was the military Governor, due to the effort of the brigade commander and hesitation of northern officers stationed in the region (partly due to the mutiny leaders in the East being Northern whilst being surrounded by a large Eastern population). The Supreme Commander General Aguiyi-Ironsi and his host Colonel Fajuyi were abducted and killed in Ibadan. On acknowledging Ironsi’s death, Ojukwu insisted that the military hierarchy be preserved. In that case, the most senior army officer after Ironsi was Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe, should take over leadership, not Colonel Gowon (the coup plotters choice), however the leaders of the counter-coup insisted that Colonel Gowon be made head of state. Both Gowon and Ojukwu were of the same rank in the Nigeria Army then (Lt. Colonel). Ogundipe could not muster enough force in Lagos to establish his authority as soldiers (Guard Battalion) available to him were under Joseph Nanven Garba who was part of the coup, it was this realisation that led Ogundipe to opt out. Thus, Ojukwu’s insistence could not be enforced by Ogundipe unless the coup ploters agreed (which they did not).The fall out from this led to a stand off between Ojukwu and Gowon leading to the sequence of events that resulted in the Nigerian civil war.
So if one understood the historical concept all, the late Ojukwu’s hesitations is personal, not for the well-being of Igbos, is all about leadership and desire to dominate people around him. And off course that is an instinct nature of an Igbo man, we’ve nothing to hide here.
In January 1967, the Nigerian military leadership went to Aburi, Ghana, for a peace conference hosted by General Joseph Ankrah. The implementation of the agreements reached at Aburi fell apart upon the leaderships return to Nigeria and on 30 May 1967, as a result of this, Colonel Odumegwu-Ojukwu declared Eastern Nigeria a sovereign state to be known as BIAFRA:
He said and I quote ;
“Having mandated me to proclaim on your behalf, and in your name, that Eastern Nigeria be a sovereign independent Republic, now, therefore I, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, by virtue of the authority, and pursuant to the principles recited above, do hereby solemnly proclaim that the territory and region known as and called Eastern Nigeria together with her continental shelf and territorial waters, shall, henceforth, be an independent sovereign state of the name and title of The Republic of Biafra.”
No Place To Hide – Crises And Conflicts Inside. On 6 July 1967, Gowon declared war and attacked Biafra. For 30 months, the war raged on. Now General Odumegwu-Ojukwu knew that the odds against the new republic were overwhelming. Most European states recognised the illegitimacy of the Nigerian military rule and banned all future supplies of arms, but the UK government substantially increased its supplies, even sending British Army and Royal Air Force advisors.During the war in addition to the Aburi (Ghana) Accord that tried to avoid the war, there was also the Niamey (Niger Republic) Peace Conference under President Hamani Diori (1968) and the OAU sponsored Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) Conference (1968) under the Chairmanship of Emperor Haile Selassie. This was the final effort by General Ojukwu and General Gowon to settle the conflict at the Conference Table. The rest is history and even though General Gowon, promised “No Victor, No Vanquished,” the Igbos were not only defeated but felt vanquished.
After three years of non-stop fighting and starvation, a hole did appear in the Biafran front lines and this was exploited by the Nigerian military. As it became obvious that all was lost, Ojukwu was convinced to leave the country to avoid his certain assassination. On 9 January 1970, General Odumegwu-Ojukwu handed over power to his second in command, Chief of General Staff Major-General Philip Effiong, and left for Ivory Coast, where President Félix Houphouët-Boigny – who had recognised Biafra on 14 May 1968 – granted him political asylum.There was one controversial issue during the Biafra war, the killing of some members of the July 1966 alleged coup plot and Major Victor Banjo. They were executed for alleged treason with the approval of Ojukwu, the Biafran Supreme commander. Major Ifejuna was one of those executed. More or so, there was a mystery on how Nzeogwu died in Biafra enclaved while doing a raid against Nigeria army on behalf of Biafra.
After 13 years in exile, the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Shehu Aliyu Usman Shagari granted an official pardon to Odumegwu-Ojukwu and opened the road for a triumphant return in 1982. During his living arrangement in his family home in Nnewi, Anambra. His foray into politics was disappointing to many, who wanted him to stay above the fray. The ruling party, NPN, rigged him out of the senate seat, which was purportedly lost to a relatively little known state commissioner in then Governor Jim Nwobodo’s cabinet called Dr. Edwin Onwudiwe.
The second Republic was truncated on 31 December 1983 by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, supported by General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and Brigadier Sani Abacha. The junta proceeded to arrest and to keep Ojukwu in Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Lagos, alongside most prominent politicians of that era. Having never been charged with any crimes, he was unconditionally released from detention on 1 October 1984, alongside 249 other politicians. In ordering his release, the Head of State, General Buhari said inter alia: “While we will not hesitate to send those found with cases to answer before the special military tribunal, no person will be kept in detention a-day longer than necessary if investigations have not so far incriminated him.” .
The most funny thing is with the return of democracy, Ojukwu had contested as presidential candidate of his party, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the last three of the five elections. Until his illness, he remained the party leader entitled ” power drunkard is unchangeable”. The party was in control of two states in and largely influential amongst the Igbo ethnic area of Nigeria. On 26 November 2011, Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu died in the United Kingdom after a brief illness, aged 78. The Nigerian Army accorded him the highest military accolade and conducted a funeral parade for him in Abuja, Nigeria on 27 February 2012, the day his body was flown back to Nigeria from London before his burial on Friday, 2 March. He was buried in a newly built mausoleum in his compound at Nnewi.
WHO’S NMANDI KANU
Do you expect to hear much from me, no no off – course, because Kanu is just a common illegal Radio Director, with a mission of money making, and passion of sleeping with girls around, and extortion of monies from Igbos in diaspora . Nothing more nothing else.
Therefore all patriotic Igbos should know that this boy is on a mission of gaining popularity by all means. Kanu is certain that the movement is not going to fail. But the devil in him urge him to give it a trial.
Conclusively, I wish those Igbos compatriots wouldn’t put their Apple in one basket belonging to Nmandi kanu now, as deeper regret is encroaching soon.
Long Live Igbos!, Long Live DSS!! And Long Live The Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!.