Odumegwu Ojukwu – The man who saw tomorrow

by Joe Okei-Odumakin

While it would have been more gracious to address the issues at stake without the festival of bayonet, there is no doubting the fact the very issues Ojukwu wanted us to address in 1966 are the same confronting us today in a nastier version.

Sweet is the remembrance of the righteous says the good book and we can say same of all men and women who came into this world and left indelible marks in the sands of time.

Such is the life of Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu whose post-humous birthday is being celebrated.

With the burial of what was mortal of him, it is safe to say that Dim Ojukwu has entered the season post-life career as the battles he fought and the whole life he lived continue to be focal points in our search for nationhood.

The vexed issues of our federalism came to a head in just seven years after independence and Ojukwu had to lead Eastern Nigeria in an armed dialogue with Nigeria lasting three and a half years with millions of lives lost.

While it would have been more gracious to address the issues at stake without the festival of bayonet, there is no doubting the fact the very issues Ojukwu wanted us to address in 1966 are the same confronting us today in a nastier version.

In the order of hypocrisy that has become our national badge of dishonour, we papered our cracks with a vacuous “no victor, no vanquished” pretensions, we refused to address how the rain beat us; not to talk of looking at how the rain will not beat us again.

Ever after the war has continued in different guises and now we are moving at top speed on the road to Kigali as bombs ravage city-upon city with needless loss of innocent lives.

We cannot continue to live in this denial as we inch towards the brink each passing day.

In the last few years of his life, Ojukwu was strong in demand for a National Conference to address these issues.

If we feared his “warlord” face while he was alive, can we now herken his baritone voice from the other side of eternity?

Time is running out!

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Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin is President, Campaign for Democracy (CD) and Women Arise (WA). She made these remarks at the birthday of Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, organized by the Igbo community in Lagos, Sunday, November 4, 2012 at  the National Stadium Iganmu, Lagos.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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