Ikemba Nnewi Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu,78, is dead. The man who sought to lead his own Igbo people to independence when he declared an independent Republic of Biafra in 1967 was an exceptional African.
Ojukwu was a national and continental icon.
He was fiercely principled. An intellectual giant in his own right, this Oxford educated historian had the courage to seek to correct the wrongs done to his own people. In the end, he was on the wrong side of history, and he will be judged harshly. But the Igbo people will hold him in high esteem because he put their rights and interests above his own.
To the people of Nigeria, an Iroko tree has fallen.
On a continent that has been given a bad name by the likes of Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Maryam Mengestu, and many more vicious dictators Ojukwu was a visionary, principled to a fault and a true man of the people. He has left an indelible legacy.
May he rest in eternal peace.