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OJUKWU'S PLACE IN HISTORY ASSURED -JONATHAN

By NBF News
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President Goodluck Jonathan said he received with much sadness and a deep feeling of great national loss news of the passing away of Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in the United Kingdom.

He said Ojukwu  lived a most fulfilled life and had in passing on left behind a record of very notable contributions to the evolution of modern Nigeria, which will assure his place in the history of this country.

In a statement signed by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President said he joined Ojukwu's family, the government and people of Anambra, his home state, the entire Igbo people of Nigeria and his friends, associates and followers across the country in mourning him.

According to the statement, 'President Jonathan believes that the late Chief Ojukwu's immense love for his people, justice, equity and fairness, which forced him into the leading role he played in the Nigerian civil war, as well as his commitment to reconciliation and the full reintegration of his people into a united and progressive Nigeria in the aftermath of the war, will ensure he is remembered forever as one of the great personalities of his time, who stood out easily as a brave, courageous, fearless, erudite and charismatic leader.

'He prays that God Almighty will grant Chief Ojukwu's soul eternal rest from his earthly labours.'

A bright, courageous military officer -Gov Uduaghan

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has expressed shock at the untimely death of Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

Governor Uduaghan lamented the death of Chief Ojukwu as a sad loss to the country whose initial news of recovery had gladdened his heart, only for the shock announcement of his demise.

Governor Uduaghan in a condolence message to the family, government and people of Anambra State recalled that he was in his lifetime a colossus, who made significant contributions to the growth and development of the country.

'Chief Ojukwu was in his lifetime a bright and courageous military officer, politician of immense talent, capable administrator, who even though led a secessionist struggle, came back from exile to participate in deepening the process of healing and reconciliation of the country.

'Ojukwu until his death was a strong proponent of handshake across the Niger, a vision he promoted to reconcile the peoples of the South-South and South East as part of efforts to heal the wounds of the civil war. I am sure history will be kind to him,' Governor Uduaghan said.

A national icon is gone -Chime
Governor Sullivan Chime has expressed profound shock and sorrow over the death of former Biafran leader, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, saying his passage has robbed the country of one her most notable historical and political figures.

The governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Chukwudi Achife, described Ojukwu as  a foremost nationalist and activist whose contributions to the political and constitutional development of the country are not only indelible but in some ways inimitable.

He further described the deceased as a symbol of the struggle against injustice, segregation and oppression against any group of people in the country, adding that his epic efforts had helped to lay the foundation for national integration and the sense of equality and unity that prevails in the country today.

He said Ojukwu was an icon who, despite his affluent background, was never afraid to speak out on critical national issues or challenge policies that tended to infringe on the rights of the people, adding that this disposition had helped him remain a highly influential and charismatic political figure in his lifetime.

'The history of this country cannot be complete without profound mention of the contributions of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. He was a vocal and forceful advocate against injustice and oppression, an activist who was prepared to risk all, including his life, to ensure that everyone was accorded his rightful place and due. He was a friend to all who believed in national integration and equality of all races. Nigeria will certainly miss him.'

He fought for justice -Sam Egwu (ex gov, Ebonyi State)

It is a great loss both to the Igbo and Nigeria generally. He was a man specially created to work for the nation. He fought for justice and was never intimidated. He was Ndigbo's true leader. We will miss his absence.

He was Nigeria's MC-General  -Adegbite
He was Nigeria's MC-General. He was very, very useful to Nigeria, he was always on the side of justice. He never shied away from speaking his mind on any matter concerning the country. It is unfortunate that he died at a time when the country needs honest contributions from people like him.

It is really painful -Leo Stan
Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was a great man, he stood for justice, he was a voice to the voiceless. He acted always in the interest of the country and the Igbo in particular. He left a legacy for us to follow. I pray God to grant him eternal rest.

It's a national loss -Tony Momoh
He will be remembered as one who registered contempt for injustice in Nigeria. Ojukwu was one of the authors of true federalism. He fought for the unity of Nigeria all the way. The way Ojukwu was treated in the hospital was really disgraceful. It is a challenge for us to honour those who have contributed to the growth of the country. What Ojukwu saw many decades ago is what we are still seeing today. He was a patriot.

A man most loved by his people -Etiaba
News of Ojukwu's death is devastating not only to the Igbo race in particular but Nigerians in general.

His exit at a time like this is depressing considering that the Nigeria of his dream, where equality, equity, accountability and probity will be enthroned has not crystallized.

As a leader, he would go down our history as a man most loved by his people. He represented the aspiration of his people and never compromised their interest.

Left a stamp in defence of the Igbo -Ralph Uwechue
President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Amb. Ralph Uwechue, has described the death of Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, as the 'passing of an age in the chequered history of the Igbo nation.'

Uwechue told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview in Enugu on Saturday that the Ikemba Nnewi had left a most significant stamp in defence of the Igbo race.

'As a leader, he has left a most significant stamp in the courageous defence of the Igbo nation,' he said.

While praying for the repose of his soul, Uwechue said Odumegwu-Ojukwu would be missed by the Igbo, the country and Africa in general.

Deserves national burial -Ayogu Eze
Chairman of Senate Committee on Works, Chief Ayogu Eze, said the Igbo nation had lost one of its major leaders.

'After the unfortunate civil war, he subordinated as a peacemaker, nation-builder, opinion leader, defender of history and stood with the Igbo people till his last breath,'' Eze said.

The senator, however, said he deserved a national burial.

A Nigerian hero -Nwadinobi
President of Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Mr. Okechukwu Nwadinobi, said Ojukwu was an Igbo icon and a Nigerian hero.

According to him, the Ikemba lived an active and eventful life and history will obviously put him in his rightful place.  'He was an active political player,'' he added.

Meanwhile, A cross section of Enugu residents have expressed shock over death of the Biafrian in a London hospital.

The News Agency of Nigeria  (NAN) reports that while some doubted the news, others described his demise as a great loss to the Igbo in particular, and Nigeria and Africa at large.

Mr. Chimezie Iloka, who hails from Nnewi, the home town of Odumegwu-Ojukwu, described the death as 'one death too many', which has created a big vacuum in Nnewi.

'If this is true, you know that Ndigbo have lost their uniting figure, a hero and a man who until his death had continued to champion the cause of the Igbo man.

'Ojukwu is a detribalised Nigerian, who believed in equal rights, fair play, justice and respect for the rule of law,' Iloka said.

Mrs. Chinelo Ezenekwe, a legal practitioner, said with the death of Ojukwu the nation had lost a rare gem that used his wealth of knowledge to fight injustice.

'She described him as an institution that needed to be under-studied to tap his vast knowledge and experience with which he sustained the Igbo during the civil war.

“There is no two Ojukwu in Igboland. He was a man of many parts whose death means the close of an era,'' Ezenekwe said.

Oyinlola mourns Ojukwu
Former Osun state Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola has also described the death of Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu as a great national loss.

Prince Oyinlola in his condolence message described Ojukwu as a leader with an immeasurable love for his people.

While saying that Ojukwu's  place in Nigerian history is assured, Prince Oyinlola challenged Nigerians to learn lessons from the life of service the late Chief Ojukwu lived.

He noted that the fact that Ojukwu was born with a silver spoon never prevented him from pursuing a career in the military which transformed him into a man of history.

Prince Oyinlola prayed God to grant the soul of the deceased etrrnal repose and fortitude to all he left behind.