Ojukwu Can Never Be Buried
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Ndigbo do not say that the dead would be buried. We say that the dead is going to be planted, hidden or set on a journey. This belief in Igbo spiritually means that something that was planted must germinate, something that was hidden must resurface, and
something that set on a journey must come back. So, as it is flourishing, Ndigbo are not going to bury Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, a General of the Peoples Army of the Republic of Biafra and General of the Army of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, son of the Richest Black Man of his time and also an Oxford Graduate, who was never and will never be a tribal warlord as Biafra is not a tribe, like Yakubu Gowon and Olusegun Obasanjo have incessantly painted Biafra to be.
Ojukwu was a man who never feared the likes of Gowon and Obasanjo to condemn the mutilation of Ndigbo in the Northern Nigeria in 1966. The duo of Gowon and Obasanjo then were much blindfolded to the realities Ojukwu saw, which even abet till date in this region that sees the gentleness of Ndigbo to mean cowardice. They blamed Ojukwu for protecting his people - Biafrans. But the like of Gowon in Nigeria are leaking a dangerous wound concerning what is happening in the North today. The Middle-Belt where Gowon comes from is even gasping for fresh air in the comity of the entire North, who refused to see reason with Ojukwu. Gowon and his 'Nigeria pray' have not solved this problem some 45years ago. (Ojukwu can never be buried).
From the horse's mouth the Almighty can speak. Nigerians who are just seeing what Ojukwu saw some 45years ago are now falling over themselves praising this dude whom his like come once in a Century. Non-Igbo people are thanking him for seeing the reason he fought for. It is needless joining issues with some biased Nigerians who out of their hypnotized mentally will never see anything good in Ojukwu. For example, Gowon and Obasanjo; they have refused to read books written by non-Nigerians as to comprehend with what led to the war. Most Nigerian authors might be influenced by emotions. Though, some tiny group still referring to Ojukwu as a rebel is not new. (Ojukwu can never be buried).
Today, those Nigerian leaders the citizens have looked up to for leadership mannerisms have betrayed. This is a highlight that Nigerians have seen their worst parkland. It was only Ojukwu who saw how Nigeria could get out of the mess that Nigeria has found herself today. But surprisingly, some people are treading blames on Ojukwu and are justifying their own record, asking why the history happened. To them, they do not believe that there is more than one virtue to learn from Ojukwu. How have Nigerians accepted the fact that they are one Nigeria with the organized killings of Ndigbo in the North again by the mentally sub-normal Boko Haram sect? Avarice, selfishness to embrace change is the bane of Nigeria. (Ojukwu can never be buried).
It is very confusing why Ndigbo are hated like the Jews are hated everywhere they are. But no matter how the rest of the North sees suffer to be the destiny of Ndigbo, some ethnicities now know better. Ndigbo lost a lot during the war, yet we had 'abandon property' everywhere and the successive Nigerian governments have not in earnest addressed this single issue on the basis that there was no victor, no vanquished in the war. Ndigbo 'abandoned property' are everywhere yet an average Nigerian addresses Ndigbo as only criminals, drug peddlers and other unprintable names. Ojukwu can never be buried because he fought for this conviction that his people are hated. The same issue still lingers till date which made Obasanjo to call a Reverend an Idiot and said that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was under his foot because they were asking questions. (Ojukwu can never be buried).
Ojukwu was a man who stood against Injustice. His death has brought a lock to a very interesting chapter in the slandered history of the struggling Nigeria. Ojukwu was a true and passionate leader who struggled for the betterment of Nigeria. Ojukwu's candour and forthrightness are commendable. He fully understood the necessity of the war at that stage of the Nigeria's history, with the palpable genocide faced by Ndigbo in the North. But some groups in Nigeria would say that Ndigbo have persistently exhibited tribal affiliation in their appearances. Nigeria should borrow a thing or two from Ojukwu as a first and prime, a very sincere man who did not submit to callous traits, to better Nigeria. Nigeria cannot get anything by continuing to isolate herself in the ideologies of Ojukwu. Whether some groups still see Biafra as dead and gone, Nigeria needs to learn the principle of accommodation and friendship. (Ojukwu can never be buried).
It is the lack of this 'accommodation and friendship' that has lingered the bloodbath going on in the Gowon's birthplace. The Hausa and Fulani and (Berom) are killing each other per second. One can take this as the beginning of Gowon's ordeal for not had reasoned with Ojukwu in the 60s. Gowon was the typical visionless leader who laid the foundation for today's corrupt system, when as a junior Army Officer he refused Ogundipe who was the most senior Army personnel to have a soft landing for the position. (Ojukwu can never be buried).
Gowon failed to stop the killings of Ndigbo in the north, yet preaching that Nigeria must be one. He also engaged the policy of marginalization on Ndigbo after the war. This is the highest amount of an uncharacteristic lack of wisdom ever seen in someone who called himself a leader. Yet, Gowon is entangled up in the "Northern Nigeria". (Ojukwu can never be buried).
Most Middle Belters like Gowon have had enough of being used by the Hausa-Fulani to climb to the highest political echelon, but cannot talk because of shame. Are some people today not having more regrets for the lives of innocent Igbo bloods that are crying from the Nigerian soil? Gowon and Obasanjo suddenly woke up to hear of Ojukwu's death and wanted to be mentioned among those who talked when Ojukwu died? Should these stakeholders in the Nigeria project continue to remind people of the evils they committed during the war instead of looking for solutions to abate the tension? They had thought that any cynical statement against Ndigbo can hold for them as they did during the war. They refused to conduct theirselves in a manner that should be cordial from now onwards. (Ojukwu can never be buried).
Ndigbo proverb would say that a coward is he who talks behind his/her opponent but when his opponent shows up he shuts up. Sorry for anyone debasing Ojukwu for he or she has failed. Nigeria will always believe, like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe said, 'Ndigbo are a special breed brought into this nation to meet Nigeria's needs'. Ojukwu convinced Ndigbo rise up to the occasion for our confidence even to death. So, such a man can never be buried.
Odimegwu Onwumere , Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: