As Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s cocky tribute to Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu continues to draw the ire of compatriots, former Abia state governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu believes the retired general was out to offend the sensibilities of the Igbo.
Kalu wondered why Obasanjo would continue to wage war on the people through extraneous means even while others acknowledged Ojukwu’s place in Nigerian history.
He said,”Gen.Obasanjo’s tribute was full of terminological inexactitudes.Ojukwu could not have thought of tendering apology of any sort.He did not drag the Igbo to war.War was inevitable at the time because the people could not fold their hands as they were slaughtered in some parts of Nigeria.”
Kalu also dismissed Obasanjo’s claim that he and Ojukwu were subalterns in the Nigeria Army at the same time.
“It is sad that Obasanjo does not recognise Ojukwu as a superior officer.Ojukwu joined the army as a graduate in 1958 and shortly after Independence in 1960,wore the eagle as epaulette-a Major.At the time the Ikemba taught Second Lieutenant Murtala Mohammed Military Tactics at Teshie Ghana,Obasanjo was a Lieutenant.A subaltern is an officer below the rank of Captain.I think Obasanjo should find out from Brig. Christopher Oluwole Rotimi,”he pointed out.
The former governor advised Obasanjo to take a cue from such officers as General Alani Ipoola Akinrinade,’Black Scorpion’ Brig.Benjamin Maja Adekunle and Rotimi in discussing Ojukwu and Biafra.
“Brig. Adekunle never failed to accord Ojukwu deserved respect.When they met in Kaduna long after the crisis,’Black Scorpion’ addressed him as Sir.Akinrinade, a brave Third Marine commando, also would not fault the Igbo for going to war.Rotimi still tells the world that Ojukwu was his boss.These are equally great Nigerians,who in the first place are Yoruba like Obasanjo,”Kalu added.