Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who was born on November 4, 1933, and joined his ancestors on November 26, 201, served as the military governor of the defunct Eastern Region in 1966 and the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970.
He was active as a politician from 1983 to 2011, when he died aged 78.
Ojukwu was in Kano, when Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu on January 15,1966 executed and announced the bloody military coup in Kaduna. It is to Ojukwu’s credit that the coup lost much steam in the North, where it had succeeded.
Lt. Col. Odumegwu-Ojukwu supported the forces loyal to the Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Major-General Aguiyi-Ironisi. Nzeogwu was in control of Kaduna, but the coup had failed in other parts of the country.
However, some stakeholders in Imo, the centre of the current disturbances are not on the same page with Governor Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in respect of the low-intensity war rocking parts of the state.
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a radical mass movement pressing for a sovereign state of Biafra out of Nigeria says Orlu and its environs are now a theatre of war declared by Abuja against innocent Biafrans, as scores of innocent civilians have allegedly fallen casualty.
“Orlu and its neighbouring Orsu Local Government Areas have been under heavy bombardment by the Nigeria Air Force since February 18, 2021. Regrettably, this genocidal war against Biafrans has the endorsement of the Supreme Court administrator of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, who the Fulani Janja weed government is using in its futile desperation to actualise its Fulanisation agenda’’, IPOB claims.
Residents of the troubled Orlu area are describing Governor Uzodinma, and President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ambassador George Obiozor, as ‘’stooges of the caliphate who do not deserve to near any leadership position in Igboland’’..
For them, most Igbo political leaders are ‘’worthless and cowards’’ who should not even lead kids not to talk of a great race like Ndigbo.
Obilakara Raymond, a resident of Orsumoghu, in Ihiala Local Government Area, Anambra State, which is one of the communities affected by the airstrike, lambasted Governor Uzodinma, Ohanaeze leader, and Attorney General/Justice Commissioner of Imo state, Cyprian Akolisa, for sacrificing their people because of politics.
“When did those killed by the army in Orlu suddenly become those killed by Eastern Security Network (ESN)? Cyprian Akolisa is a lost soul. My community is in Anambra, but we were affected because we’re Orsu people in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“Our neighbours in Orsu Ihitte-Ukwa and other communities in Orsu Local Government Areas are suffering. I don’t understand why Uzodinma who is from Oru East, George Obiozor who’s from Oru East and Cyprian Akolisa who’s from Orsu as well, will decide to invite army to kill their own people just to please their masters from the far North.”
An indigene of Umuhu-Okabia, Orsu Local Government Area, Clement Asiadinaobi, says, “we surely have a problem as Ndigbo. If I may ask, what necessitated this action of the Nigerian military? Why do they continue to intimidate us in our own land? Are they done with the problems in the North-East?
“Just a few days ago, bandits kidnapped all the students in a school in Niger State. Have they been able to deal with it? What has IPOB done? Defence Minister has asked us to defend ourselves and that is what ESN is doing in the forests of Igbo-land. But, Hope Uzodinma and his co cowards decided to do what they were told to do.
“No wonder they always threaten him with Supreme Court review of his dubious governorship position. Now I know why they dubiously removed Ihedioha to plant this coward and caliphate serving slave called Uzodinma.
“I overheard a Northern governor say the other day that not all bandits are criminals. Have you heard such a statement before? Can one say that not all robbers are thieves?’’
Mrs. Clementine Uzoigwe is wondering why IPOB is tagged a terrorist organisation but bandits and killer herdsmen are seen as social organisations.
“The killer herdsmen who contribute zero naira to Nigerian economy can’t simply be held accountable or ordered to stop going for grazing down Southern Nigeria till further notice.
“The Nigerian military that failed colossally in North East and Northern Nigeria generally will equally meet their Waterloo chasing ESN. Whether fools like Hope Uzodinma likes it or not, people will be alive to see the end of this evil.
“They can kill all of us, but there must be remnants to defend our land. We have heard on several occasions when the Governor of Kaduna said they begged their killers to stop killing, an Islamic Cleric is busy holding meetings with bandits, but for IPOB, Akolisa and Uzodinma tagged the criminals. They are criminals and yet we have never heard that they are involved in any criminal activity”, she said.
In the mean time, Akolisa, the Imo state top official is commending Abuja for deploying troops in Orlu, the commercial hub of the state to secure citizens. He is also justifying the military assault in Orlu on the grounds that there are allegations that residents were being molested by the operatives of ESN.
Akolisa who claimed the Uzodinma administration arrested some young men alleged to be linked to ESN announced that Owerri will arraign them in the ongoing crisis in the Orlu-Orsu axis of the state for murder.
Speaking in Owerri, the state capital at the weekend, he said ESN operatives are hoodlums and will be treated as murderers by the APC state government, stressing that the ongoing military operation in the area has the support of Governor Uzodinma’s administration.
Akolisa said it was the state government that invited the military to flush out the hoodlums who call themselves ESN in Orlu, adding that the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, was endangering the people of the state by the activities of ESN In the Orlu area.
Akolisa alleged that ESN operatives have been killing many people in the state since 2020, and that IPOB cashed in on the EndSARS protest to amass rifles for their operation. He is also accusing former Governor Rochas Okorocha, now represents Orlu Senatorial Zone at the Senate of playing politics with the crisis.
He faulted Okorocha for going to sympathize with a traditional ruler, Boniface Okereke of Uzoubi Umuna Orlu who was harassed by a policeman on January 27, but allegedly refused to visit the families of the victims allegedly killed by ESN operatives.
The attorney-general who hails from Awo-Idemili in Orsu Local Government Area says the deployed troops will not leave the troubled areas until absolute peace was restored in the Orlu/Orsu axis of the state.
Senator Okorocha’s Spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, has fired back, accusing the Uzodinma administration of being confused. “This government is a failed one. Look at what a whole attorney general of Imo state called journalists to say. This government can’t succeed in its bid to give Okorocha a personality that is not his own.”
IPOB says the Nigerian Army supported by their sister security agencies have brought war to Biafra land with their military jets, tanks and heavy war equipment.
In a statement by the pro-Biafra group Spokesman, Emma Powerful, IPOB says with that action, the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch, has declared the second Nigeria/Biafra war.
“The second Nigeria/Biafra war has begun! The war began on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The wicked Nigeria military has simultaneously launched both land and air attacks on us. After the genocidal war of 1967-1970 in which they killed over five million innocent Biafrans, they have come again to bomb the Biafrans under the pretext that they are hunting the gallant personnel of ESN guarding our forests against killer herdsmen and terrorists on rampage in our land.
“Days before the raid, they first abducted a synagogue priest, Mazi Egole and his household, branding them IPOB members. Then on February 16, they abducted Mrs. Ngozi Umeadi who they learnt took care of those injured during the EndSARS protest. Not done yet, they took Dr. Stephen Irochi of Multicare Hospital and some injured EndSARS protesters from Obigbo receiving treatment at the hospital.
“With this, the oppressive government of President Buhari now run by the Fulani cabal, has confirmed that it is the chief sponsor of terrorism and banditry going on in our land. The satanic government which could not defend Biafrans against incessant unprovoked attacks against indigenous Nigerians has now mobilised its land and air force against ESN patriotically and voluntarily doing the job that Nigeria security forces wickedly refused to do.
‘’The crime of ESN is defending locals against Fulani herdsmen. But he, his likes and their slave-masters will pay heavily for this! The world must hold Hope Uzodinma and the Buhari-led Fulani-controlled federal government of Nigeria responsible for the ongoing genocidal war in Orlu and Orsu”, IPOB says
Continuing, the group says the same hypocritical Nigeria military which could not trace or locate heavily-armed bandits and Fulani terrorists in the forests of Zamfara and other Northern states is now bombing ESN, a mere vigilante group.
“Miyetti Allah announced its nationwide security outfit and nobody bombed them till today. Amotekun was formed in the West and the tanks were not rolled out against them. But now that Biafrans have announced our own vigilante group – ESN to protect our people against terrorists kidnapping, raping and slaughtering our people in our own ancestral land, all hell is let lose.
“But we promise disgrace to our enemies. They shall be shamefully defeated. The war has begun! We shall defend Biafra and we shall triumph! No inch of Biafra land will be taken by the Invaders. We have vowed never to relinquish any inch of Biafra ancestral land to Fulani Herdsmen from Sahel.
‘’Their evil Fulanisation agenda shall perish with them. God of the Jews shall defend us against the enemies. This war will be different from the 1967 genocide.”
IPOB has reminded all Biafrans all over the world that that decisive moment has come when they must stand to be counted.
“We need to rise as one people no matter the tongue or ethnicity for we have a common destiny. We have all been marked for decimation by the Fulani Janjaweed but we must resist them.
“Nobody should erroneously think he is exempted from the wicked plots of our enemies. Even our treacherous political elite should know that the Fulani will not spare them after using them against their own people.
“Our people in the Nigeria military and other security agencies should also know that the Fulani will reward them with death after using them to fight their kith and kin. We must stand united and fight for our children! Now is the time!
We have no choice but to defend our ancestral land. We have complained enough, written petitions but the world turned blind eyes. The media refused to give us an audience.
“Nobody seems interested in our story but like the Jews we must look unto our God and courageously fight back like heroes. In the end Biafra will come.”
A factional leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is condemning Governor Uzodinma for the manner in which he is handling the crisis in Orlu.
Secretary General of the faction in a statement through its Media Adviser, Kalu Mkpa Uduma, warns the Imo governor that Ndigbo are watchful of the series of provocative actions against them in orlu.
“The first military airstrike 51 years after Biafra Civil war ended will be indelibly remembered that attempts were made to lure ESN into arms struggle which must be resisted.
Ndigbo will never be intimidated again without fighting back, we will never forget about the dark days of 1967/1970s, Governor Uzodinma is behind the recent unleashed military force against IPOB to please his paymasters in Abuja.”