OJUKWU 1933 - 2011
Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has lamented the death of Ikemba Nnewi and Eze Igbo Gburugburu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu.
In a statement issued yesterday, Kalu, who enjoyed a chummy, father/son relationship with the late leader was poetic, describing the Ikemba as 'my captain' whose 'ship weathered every storm' during his eventful life time, just as he prayed for the repose of his soul. Excerpts of the tribute: 'Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu!
You summoned us as a people and a nation to seek a newer and better country; where justice and equity reigned.
'In the words of Ulysses, that fearful trip is done, the ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is almost won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
But O heart! heart! heart! O on the deck my Captain Dim Odumegwu lies,
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up-for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you, the shores a-crowding,
'For you, they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain ! dear father !
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage almost closed and done; From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won.
'May God grant us the fortitude to bear this colossal loss, for in the words of Aeschylus,
'Even in our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart; and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.'
Good night, my Captain and thank you,' Orji Uzor Kalu.