President Goodluck Jonathan’s Five-Star treatment of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu even in death earned him an equally grand salute from former Abia state governor Dr.Orji Uzor Kalu.
Kalu liked President Jonathan’s position that Ojukwu deserved national burial as a soothing balm from a man who had steadily risen from peace maker to a statesman.
According to Kalu,”President Jonathan is in the right office at the right time. I do not think any other sitting Nigerian President would have honoured the Great Ikemba like Mr.President.He eschewed politics,shoved aside ethnic considerations and went ahead to change the course of falsified history by treating Ojukwu as a hero and nationalist.”
What turned Kalu on was the full military honours accorded Ojukwu and the presence of top government functionaries in Abuja to eulogise the Ikemba.
“The Vice-President was there,so was the Senate President. First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan turned out in mourning dress. I just wished Ojukwu could open his eyes for one second to see his beloved country lifting him. At that point, it dawned on me that perhaps historians should take another look at this man and give a new appellation-Father of modern Nigerian unity-,”he pointed out.
The ex-governor explained that death had shown that what Ojukwu got into was a War of unity, which defined to a large extent a new Nigeria where anybody could lay claim to the top irrespective of background.
“Call it Civil war,or what you wish. To me it was a war of unity,where brother fought against brother. A Cyril Iweze on the Federal side and a Ganiyu Adeleke commanding the Biafra School of Infantry. You could find Tony Igwe playing football in Lagos while a Princess,daughter of late Oba Oyekan of Lagos dodged bullets in Ogwuaga, Abba in the Igbo hinterland,” Kalu said.
Source: Vanguard, 3rd March 2012.