President Goodluck Jonathan has again described the late ex-Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu, Ojukwu as a selfless leader who fought against injustice while alive, just as the South East Governors said that Ikemba’s burial had brought to an end the wounds and pains of the Nigeria Civil War.
Jonathn, who poured encomium on the late Ikemba of Nnewi shortly before the Igbo hero was lowered into the mother earth in front of his modest compound in Nnewi at 5.30p.m, commended Nigerians for gracing what he described as the final journey of one of Nigeria’s greatest leaders.
According to President Jonathan, many Nigerians had not witnessed a burial like Ojukwu’s which showed that he was man of the people who fought for the benefit of his people.
He stated that Ojukwu was one of the few leaders, who left a legacy that spoke volumes of his selfless service to his fatherland, saying, “Ojukwu left a clean record. In Africa, we have leaders who after their death, even their corpses were not allowed into their country but Ojukwu’s burial is today the highest in the history of Nigeria.
“I came here today with my family because I consider myself as part of the Ojukwu family. When my father died, he drove to my remote village and ever since, he has treated me as a son. his burial is personal to me,” he added.
Earlier, Ojukwu's remains were laid in state at St. Micheal de Archangel Parish, Umudim, Nnewi where the Anambra State governor, Peter Obi, said that the Nigerian Civil War had finally ended with the burial of the ex-Biafran war lord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, in his country home Nnewi.
Obi said that the love showed the Ojukwu family and entire Ndigbo by President Jonathan, was an indication that the discrimination suffered by Ndigbo after the civil war was over, adding that they can now have a sense of belonging in the Nigerian project.
He further described the late Igbo leader as a man that choose a life of service and pursuit of a better society, stating that he boldly took odd but right decisions, urging people in authority to always take right decisions in the interest of the people and nation.
Saturday Tribune observed that emotion took the centre stage as the former Biafran leader was committed to mother earth.
All markets and shops were shut down as thousands of people trooped to Umudim, Nnewi to pay their last respect to the fallen hero.
While the family members of Ojukwu wore mournful look, the well wishers beat their chests with pride that the great warrior had gone with befitting burial accorded to him.
Literally, Nnewi, the country home of Ojukwu, stood still as the remains of the ex-Biafran war lord was interred in his family compound the in presence of President Jonathan, past and present members of National Assembly, governors and other top dignitaries.
More prominent people paid tributes to the late Ikemba as Bishop Gregory Ochiaha, the Bishop Emeritus of Orlu Diocese, described Ojukwu as a man who lived his entire life fighting against opression, urging the present leaders to emualte his good virtues of the ex-war lord.
Source: Tribune, 3rd March 2012.