The right to learn and know is an obvious human rights offering. And Heroes that shape history must be studied and learned from. As such, here is another exciting perspective on the Quotable Measures of Dim Ojukwu assembled in Part 3 of the series. Though some repetition of themes on Ojukwu are inevitable but they are worth it for having been framed differently by writers and commentators who eulogized him and attributed (or made tributes) to who he was and what he stood for in Nigerian unity. It goes to suggest that by any attempt to offer a clear introduction to this collection of "Quotable Measures of the Man: Dim Ojukwu", the effort is to closely direct that the measures of a man can truly come from the society in which he unfolded his life-world and expressed himself. Dim Ojukwu is plurally measured as a thinker, innovator, intelligent, an ICON, hero, and fighter for social justice. We can evidently learn more about him and his family, childhood, career, military, social, economic, political, ethnic and fight for human rights and charismatic leadership worlds through what people experienced of him, passionately thought of him, and continue to think, say and relate to his virtues and enlightenments. Ojukwu like many historic figures across the world, shed light on the challenges of organizing and building national unity; one that must include and occasion opportunity and security for everyone.Nigeriaof his time, particularly in the 1960s stood defiant and un-reconciled to any form of human rights correctness pertaining to the Igbo who were massacred like festive rams for no good reason – as noted by Queen Bianca, Ojukwu's widow.
Let us recall that Ojukwu has been vindicated by the ethnic, religious and political events troubling Nigeriaup to his death. He stood against all odds in defence of his battered people as a professional soldier, indefatigable and unique leader. What else really can we take of this manner of man than to capture all there is for the education of the people of Nigeria to do better, bearing in mind, that, Dim Ojukwu remains a college of critical solution for leadership change and continuity for Nigeria. His ideals and legacies left behind cannot be easily faulted by any sense and argument of historical turn of events. It is without bias that the youth and all levels of the population categories must study Dim Ojukwu as a compulsory field of social science knowledge and development. Not to do so is to deny the relevance of episodic Nigeria shaped by this man of the people.
I am sure we are on the right tract gathering statements, abstracts and quotes related to Dim Ojukwu in the Nigerian world. It suffices to say that at the end of the series, a meaningful information bank must have been established. The purpose of which is to provide useful collection of data for reference, research and development of the ideals of the hero ofNigeria. One ornamental learning lesson I am particular about is that no matter what any Nigerian is said to be doing at the centre of Nigeria politics in Abuja and each state capital without having a close contact and impact on the one’s immediate village, town, ethnic and regional community is a have service. Dim Ojukwu was a master of this when it is taken from the saying that east or west home is the best. Where is one’s home? One’s home is a matter of one’s endogenous identity. In other words, one’s first cultural beginning is an attached symbol of relevance. In deed, it must be proudly related to one’s ethnic bearing that must grow and get forged into the one’s national development antenna. Dim Ojukwu embodied all of this and it must be unveiled for careful application in the study of a hero and his society. The greater aspect of Dim Ojukwu is hinged on fighting against injustices of his time against his people and the likes inNigeria. To understand fair and equitable justice as human right, we must therefore turn the life pages of Ojukwu himself and re-shape Nigeriain that direction.
Below are a range of quotable measures assembled for Part Three of the collections. I truly hope that readers will be thrilled, and moreover, continue to appreciate and apply the insights to issues to which they vigorously pertain.
1. I have just returned from Nnewi,AnambraState, where I attended the funeral mass and burial of the Great Dim, Chukuwemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, a patriot and a great son ofNigeria! I am personally touched by the depth of sadness at the passing of this philosopher, officer and gentleman. It is remarkable and moving that his awesome life is a source of celebration by every strata of the Nigerian society. In death Dim Ojukwu has consolidated and strengthened the nationalist philosophy agreed by all patriots that there was indeed “no victor and no vanquished”. The Project Unity which Dim Ojukwu pursued upon his return from exile must be concluded by this generation to the glory of God andNigeria. May God bless his soul. (President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, 2012).
2. President Goodluck Jonathan eulogizing Ojukwu publicly atAbujaand Nnewi said: “Ojukwu left a clean unity record”. 'Ojukwu was one of those brought by God to lead his people' and his place in Nigerian history is assured. (President Goodluck Jonathan, 2012).
3. Ojukwu never set out to be a hero but ended up an authentic Nigerian hero. Such paradox would encapsulate the totality of his persona. An Igbo man born in northern Nigeria in the land of the Gwari and the Nupe, he grew up in Lagos going to school and speaking Yoruba better than many Yoruba, as a schoolboy at King's College Lagos running into trouble with constituted authority in the days when white colonial masters were decidedly not only our betters and superiors but gods incarnate, a Blackman as a student of Holman House in Epsom College as he himself described it "amongst a sea of white faces", excelling at rugby, winning prizes which were controversially not awarded to him! (Tokunbo Ogunbiyi, 2012).
4. Odimegwu Emeka Ojukwu was born on Novermber 4, 1933 in Zungeru. Today Emeka Ojukwu is one of the most widely known Nigerians of Ibo origins that ever lived. His father was a wealthy man and his affluence put him and his children into the social elite group locally known as “Been tos”. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
5. Socially allergic to such bourgeois pretensions and determined to identify with the poor, the lowly and the marginalized, Ojukwu portrayed his Man of the People social consciousness by joining the military as a recruit instead of an officer. This willingness to identify with and to serve the lowest rung of society did not go well with his father. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
6. With a college degree, he was not inducted as a cadet but as a recruit. He faced lots of hardship because his father forced the officers to punish him in order to deter him from continuing the madness of the military. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
7. Ironically, his father’s insistence backfired when the young Ojukwu corrected the trainee officer’s malapropisms and got himself punished for correcting his command’s errors. Fate worked in his favor when the White commander of his section of the military discovered his intellect and his more polished proficiency in English. To the dismay and lament of his Dad he became an officer and a gentleman. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
8. He was later promoted and he became the governor of theEastern Nigeria. He did not have an escort, no conveyors, was taking community projects, he was the people’s governor, he leveled with the Ibos whether rich or poor. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
9. Looking through the gallery of Ojukwu exhibits, many would see his biography as a part of the struggle of the Ibo people in colonial and post colonialNigeria. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
10. Biafrawas not defeated in the war. Biafra achieved her war aims. The aims were never to capture Nigeria or indeed any territory for Biafra. We were attacked, we successfully defended ourselves - the costs were heavy yet we survived. We went to war in order to survive. We "faced the fearful odds for the ashes of our fathers and the temples of our Gods." (Dim Ojukwu, 1994
11. When Ojukwu came back some of us nicknamed him *Ogbaso 1* (Fast runner #1).” This was started by the Governor of Old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo and spread to the public mockery of a legendary veteran for politics of the day. (cf. Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba (2012).
12. In a war propaganda song General Ojukwu was raised and idolized thus: “Onweghi mgbe ike Gowon ga-akari ike Chukwu (Literally translated would mean: There is no way would Gowon's power be greater to God's); Onweghi mgbe ike Gowon ga-akari ike Ojukwu, At no point would Gowon's power be stronger to Ojukwu's.” (Voice of Biafran Soldiers, Youtube).
13. Unlocking the mystery and the circumstances leading to the unexpected political performance of Ojukwu since his return from exile, some believed that he could not do much for the Ibos because the agreement he reached with the Federal government prohibited him from engaging in any assembly that promotes any form of tribalism. This political agreement restricted politics. His age- mates no long need him or sympathize with him any more. If they did not deny him, they spared little time to keep his stocks high. To them the war was Ojukwu’s war, it was his baby, and it was his sin. These men gave up their dignity, their honor, their personality, their culture, their people and their respect for federal appointments. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
14. Ojukwu has made history and no assembly of deniers could rule otherwise. Yet, in stating this I should hasten to add that he was a victim of historical realities. Up till now he has not been able to translate wishes into realities. His ideal situation would have been an established Biafran state close to the African equator, but the forces and factors ranged against him were too much. He was neither successful as a secessionist nor an accomplished coup maker who seized the reins of government and became an IBB, an OBJ or a Murtala. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
15. Finally, Ojukwu from youth has demonstrated to be man of the people and will remain the people’s general at heart. (Eucharia Mbachu, 2007).
16. In spite of his silver-spooned background, urbanity, lady-killer-good looks, charisma and ivy-league education, he soiled his princely hands in the Biafran struggle with notorious, not to say, demonic zeal. And because Ojukwu hated behind-the- scene, softly-softly approach to the sufferings of his people, he embraced the direct action orthodoxy as we now see in the Occupy this, Occupy that revolution. (Taju Tijani, 2012).
17. By any standard, Ojukwu was a fine soldier and confident combatant. He was an enigmatic warrior and conscience of the common masses ofNigeria. God had prepared him before he was born as a liberator, a Mosaican deliverer and a prophet from Nnewi. Ojukwu harboured no faithless timidity in his pursuit of an authentic Igbo republic. His famous apocalyptic Aburi rhetoric was a document of emotional grievances. Ndigbo’s fascination with the man is precisely the index of how he is revered. Ojukwu gave the Igbo a sense of Brifranness. (Taju Tijani, 2012).
18. The immediate challenge for Ndigbo or the freedom loving Biafrans is to reinvent an Ojukwu icon that will embody the approving qualities of valour, tenacity, industry, genius, long suffering and hardwork commonly associated with an average, hardwired Igbo modern man. (Taju Tijani, 2012).
19. The relevance of another Ojukwu is crafted in Sonny Odogwu’s tribute. “Nigeriais still looking for direction. Inequity and social injustice he fought against are still there. I urge Nigerians and the leadership to correct structural deficiencies and social injustice.” The need for another Ojukwu cannot be more urgent. (Taju Tijani, 2012).
20. Fed up with the plethora of downright lies and inventions by sundry parties Ojukwu declared "I am the final Biafran truth". Few could doubt what Ojukwu said in this regard. Unlike many who wrote from several self-interested positions, Ojukwu alone saw the whole picture. (Tokunbo Ogunbiyi, 2012).
21. But Ojukwu represents not simply the accurate rendition of what happened in Biafra but also the reasons forBiafra. As an event done and gone it is easy to dismissBiafrabut in understanding that epochal event in our national history we are able to sign post the future more accurately. If Ojukwu has written any memoirs we soon should find out but if not we can infer certain judgements from his already published books and other speeches and interviews which he gave in his lifetime. (Tokunbo Ogunbiyi, 2012).
22. The final truth is that Biafra was, then as it is now, about how we can have a balanced, fair, equitable, just, secular, all-inclusive construct with aspirations as an industrialising democracy offering opportunities to all its citizens with a tacit guarantee of their human rights; and in concert with other like-minded countries providing leadership within the comity of nations. (Tokunbo Ogunbiyi, 2012).
23. The final Biafran truth is that the search for this new national paradigm forNigeriawas the cause for the crises and the subsequent civil war. Contiguous and integral to this truth is also the pertinent observation that the crises of Nigeria and the trouble with Nigeria (apologies to Professor Chinua Achebe) is the perennial struggle between the progressive forces that would shape our society and the reactionary forces that have shaped our country so far. (Tokunbo Ogunbiyi, 2012).
24. Here lies a person who was truly a Nigerian; here lies the mortal remains of a person who put his country first; here lies the one that knew what a sacrifice was all about. (Most. Rev. Gregory Ochiagha, Bishop Emeritus of Orlu Diocese).
25. The final Biafran truth which is also the ultimate Nigerian truth is thatAfricamattered to western interests only as much as the ledger entries in their trading accounts and balance sheets at the end of a financial year!Nigeria's tragedy is not so much the lives lost as the failure of successive leaders to grasp this fundamental truth aboutAfricaand the west. (Tokunbo Ogunbiyi, 2012).
26. The greatest challenge for those who seek to follow and keep alive Ojukwu’s legacy, is not to keep their distance from what he believed, fought and died for: equity and a just and egalitarianNigeria! (Hank Eso, 2012).
27. Generations yet unborn, inNigeriaandAfricaand in the world, would get to read and learn about Ojukwu in civic, politics, government, history and military classes. They will also learn great lessons and positive ones too, aboutNigeria’s magnanimity and sense of forgiveness and her willingness to admit past mistakes – and how all these were personified in one man – Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. (Hank Eso, 2012).
28. So much has been said of and for Ojukwu and what he represented. Those who knew him intimately and even those who knew him perfunctorily, but mainly from the media and distance, all spoke glowingly of the man, Ojukwu. The turnout at the various junctures, for his week-long funeral rites, as the world watched, included an “A List” of “Nigeria’s Who is Who”; along with foreign dignitaries like Jerry Rawlings ofGhanaand the best crop of the Diplomatic Corps. (Hank Eso, 2012).
29. What Ojukwu got was what he most desired, a burial befitting of a Roman General in its pomp and pageantry. In the end, his nation had acknowledged him, for who he was. Ojukwu has been immortalized. His alleged sins and treachery and accusations of nihilism had come to naught. (Hank Eso, 2012).
30. It would be most erroneous and egregiously so, for any Igbo politician or presumptive leader to think or believe they could ever succeed Ojukwu or step into his shoes. That he was larger than life was certainly beyond an opportune cliché. It was a hard and incontrovertible fact. While we must let his cherished memories rest, they should serve as our bond and our guide. We owe ourselves that much. Meanwhile, Ojukwu is Gone! Ojukwu stands immortalized!! His legend lives on!!! (Hank Eso, 2012).
31. Ojukwu married altogether four wives, one at a time. He married his first wife Elizabeth Okoli from Awka town inAnambraState, in 1957, but she did not have a child. Following their divorce, he married his second wife, Njideka Onyekwelu, from Nawfia,Anambra State in 1964. They had three children: Emeka Jnr, Mimi and Okigbo. Ojukwu married his third wife, Stella Onyeador from Arochukwu in Abia State, and they divorced later in the 1980s. In 1989, he married his fourth wife and Widow Bianca Onoh from Udi. They have three children. (Chibo Onyeji, 2012).
32. At a time when everybody was avoiding the truth, Ojukwu, driven by the Biafra Principle, was courageous and sincere enough to insist that there was nothing sacrosanct about the colonial boundaries ofNigeriaor of any African country for that matter. Later on, events throughout the world would prove Ojukwu right about the secondariness of borders: the Soviet Union,Yugoslavia,Czechoslovakia, theSudan, have all broken up into smaller states including, ironically,Ethiopiathe very seat of the OAU, which vehemently opposed any tampering with the colonial boundaries in Africa, and in particular Biafra’s re-drawing of the colonial map ofNigeria. (Chibo Onyeji, 2012).
33. [Ojukwu] was a rare gem, a strong advocate for better society and strong believer in the equitable distribution of power and political bargaining…Dim Ojukwu’s patriotism about the oneness of the country was not in doubt. He believed that given the country’s diverse socio-political and cultural configurations, the nation-states within the nation must be given room to flourish in a mutually exclusive arrangement that would further the aspiration of the country. (Chibo Onyeji, 2012).
34. Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Ikemba) clearly falls into the category of great men. To me, the man should simply be referred to as a superhuman - though of Igbo extraction - born amongst us to help in the shaping ofNigeriafor achievement of the best, and the legacies he left behind will continue to live with this motherland. (Christopher Chibueze Onyekuru, 2012).
35. Ojukwu is dead, and the Igbo people will miss him, ages upon ages. Yet I am sure this great man's good leadership qualities would continue to live on. One of these was his outspokenness - his ability to speak up, even when fellow men of equal status were unable to. I remember the first and only time I saw this crowd-pulling hero live. I do remember that day, in one of the popular Igbo people's Annual Ahiajoku Lectures during the days of Achike Udenwa as Governor of Imo State. I remember that that day Udenwa, the Host Governor, did not attend that program. Rather, he went on a trip outside the country, not minding the consequences of leaving prominent Igbo citizens, scholars and statesmen unattended to. I remember that amongst all powerful men and women that were there, it was only Ikemba who voiced out about this wrongdoing, slapping the absent governor with words. It takes Ojukwu to berate a sitting governor. That day, I was marvelled. (Christopher Chibueze Onyekuru, 2012).
36. When it comes to true leadership of a people, Ikemba was an epitome. I mean, here was a selfless man who in his early 30s had already become a leader amongst his people. That legacy of his is institutional, considering the fact that in this modern day period, many of Nigerian young men of Ojukwu's age by then, who happen to come from wealthy families as he did, could still be regarded as spoiled kids who have not even begun to liberate themselves from their parent's care, then to talk of liberating a people (not necessarily by engaging in wars or terrorist actions, but by involving themselves in true leadership paths) from a perceived oppression. But this man, as young as he was then, disregarded his wealthy background and brought himself out for sacrifice when it was needed by a people. (Christopher Chibueze Onyekuru, 2012).
37. Any State Governor in Nigeriawho cannot defend his people and their properties like Dim Ojukwu did when the Igbo were oppressed and killed in the North and by the Federal Forces should be impeached, jailed and or killed for incapability and poor skill to do the human rights thing for God and humanity. (Dr. Patrick Iroegbu, – Keynote Speech Remark offered during a wake-keep and memorial service in honour of Dim Ojukwu in Edmonton, Canada, March 3, 2012).
38. The late Ikemba was a great man that spent his lifetime fighting for justice, equity and fair play inNigeria, and we pray God to grant his son, Emeka Ojukwu Jr. to fit into Ojukwu’s Shoes. (Pastror Tunde Bakare, 2012).
39. We are grateful for the life your father lived. He was a great man. We thank God for the role he played before, during and after the Nigerian Civil War. (Pastror Tunde Bakare, 2012).
40. “He fought to protect the interest of his own people as a part of a united nation. His desire was that any Nigerian can live in any place of his choice. And many people have come to appreciate him for that,” Ojukwu fought for national integration after he returned from exile and for everyone to be fairly treated wherever they resided and in spite of their state of origin. (Pastror Tunde Bakare, 2012).
41. The people would not forget that Ojukwu fought for justice, equality and against discrimination on the basis of state of origin in the public service. “He was very intelligent, a very wise man with sound sense of balance. Nigerians will miss him because in these trying times in which our unity is being threatened with all sorts of insurgences, we need the wisdom, experience and the sense of balance of Ojukwu, who lived and fought for equal opportunity and justice.” (Pastror Tunde Bakare, 2012).
42. Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was a powerful man worth celebrating. "He was a man very powerful in his generation. A great soldier and great thinker. He enmeshed himself in the service of his people. He served his country in the military after graduating from one of the best universities in the world -Oxford. Highly intelligent, no Nigerian has altered the history of our nationhood as Ojukwu did for posterity aside Awolowo, Zik and the likes. (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, 2012).
43. “The best way to honour the memory of Ojukwu is to build a nation on the pillars of equity, justice and fairness, the causes for which the Ikemba of Nnewi lived and died for,” (Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun).
44. As Ojukwu's health began to fail, however, the federal government began to warm to him under President Goodluck Jonathan who described the one-time rebel leader as "Our leader, our brother is one of those people brought by God to lead the people," (President Jonathan Goodluck, 2012).
45. Ojukwu remained a complicated man in life. He felt obligated to eclipse the long shadow cast by his knighted father, a self-made millionaire who loaned Queen Elizabeth II his Rolls Royce during her 1956 visit to Nigeria. He cast away a playboy image he gained while studying in Englandto join Nigeria's military, which has produced much of the nation's leaders since independence. He also had a number of children with different wives before marrying his beauty queen wife Bianca. (JON GAMBRELL, The Associated Press).
46. Ojukwu’s death marks the end of an era; we were both Sub-Lieutenants in the army atNigeria’s independence in 1960, a friend and colleague. (Olusegun Obasanjo, 2012).
47. Be it known therefore that even Babatope raised the ingenious point that Nigeria today is one of the few remaining Federations in the world 'because of the patriotism of Dim Ojukwu who refused to proclaim guerrilla warfare after the end of the civil war in 1970' to ensure that Nigerian unity is without tortuous ethnic boundaries sustained and advanced. (Batope, 2012).
48. According to the deputy speaker, “with his death, the nation has been robbed of the services of a great legend and charismatic patriot.” Emeka Ihedioha said with the demise of Ojukwu, Africa had lost a statesman of uncommon abilities, adding that “the death of this eminent soldier-statesman, on Saturday, November 26, 2011 in aLondonhospital has brought to an end an exciting career and life that were intricately intertwined with the history of modernNigeria. (Emeka Ihedioha, 2012).
49. The Dim title is the highest Ozo Title of the Umudim Nnewi people ofAnambraStateofNigeria. For many decades now, nobody takes the Dim title again, because the demands are too much. So, many of those conditions were waived in the case of Emeka Ojukwu in line with modern realities. His was an honour based on his achievements for Igbo land, but the original Dim Title is one, for which, an extremely wealthy man takes by himself if he is confirmed to be fit to take the title. The lower titles in Umudim Nnewi are, in no particular order: Dunu, Dala,Ume, Eze. Ikemba’s father took the title Eze: Ojukwu Eze Okigbo. In addition to Ikemba, Ojukwu earned Dim, hence Dim Ojukwu. (Voice from Nnewi and Patrick Iroegbu, 2012).
50. My Hero, you are dead but alive in my heart. You fought against injustice, tribalism, marginalization and opposition. May Your Gentle Soul Rest In Perfect Peace, Amen. Gidim, Gidim, Gidim, Gidim, Gidim, Gidim, Gidim......... (Aaron Udigwe, 2012).
51. And the Man Died for Burial Rites and Tributes:
Feb. 6th: World Press Conference
Feb. 6th – 10th: Mounting of billboards in all strategic places
Feb. 11th Sat: Icho Mmadu: – Youths in all South East states
Feb. 12th Sun: Prayer forNigeriaand justice for Ndigbo and other groups
Feb. 13th Mon: Group funeral activities (Incl. Icho Mmadu) in Zungeru andAbidjan
Feb. 14th Tues: “ “ “KadunaandAccraFeb. 15th Wed: “ “ “Abidjanand Diaspora
Feb. 16th Thurs: “ “ “ Makurdi and Diaspora
Feb. 17th Fri: “ “ “ (ii) Diaspora
(ii) Symposium on Ahiara Declaration
Feb. 18th Sat: “ “ “ Zungeru
Feb. 19th Sun: “ “ “Kano
Feb. 20th Mon “ “ “ Calabar
Feb. 21st Tues: “ “ “ Uyo
Feb. 22nd Wed: “ “ “Port Harcourt
Feb. 23rd Thurs: “ “ “Lagos
Feb. 24th Fri: “ “ “ Bayelsa
Feb. 25th Sat: “ “ “ Icho Mmadu in all locations
Feb. 26th Sun: Valedictory Services in all churches
Feb. 27th Mon: i. Arrival of Remains atAbujaAirport ii. Onye Ije Nno iii. Departs to Owerri
Feb. 28th Tues: Aba– Abakiliki –Enugu stops/ceremonies
Feb. 29th Wed : i.Enugupreparations ii. Youths: Icho Mmadu
March 1 Thurs: National Funeral Ceremony, (Enugu) Onye Ije Nno - (Awka) Reception 3 pm - Nnewi Wake keeping 5:30pm
March 2 Fri: Interment
March 3 – 10: Condolences
March 12: “Outing” Church Service (Burial Committee, 2011-2012).
52. Regarding the entire hullabaloo made over Ojukwu’s burial, it is not really for him alone; it is for Igbo population as entire. Igbo people are asking the Nigerian state to recognize them as Nigerians who made sacrifices forNigeria. By according Ojukwu some measure of dignified burial; Ndi Igbo now feel that their fallen boy soldiers have been accorded the dignified burial they deserve. So, it is not about Ojukwu by himself and for himself; it is about Igbo’s hurt pride seeking assuaging! (cf. Dr. Ozodi Osuji, 2012).
Dim Ojukkwu is currently succeeded among his other children to mourn him by Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Jr., who was Commissioner for Transport and Special Duties in the cabinet of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State; a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chief Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu, also a lawyer and cultural activist; as well as by his wife, the former Miss Intercontinental, Queen Bianca Ojukwu.