Thursday, March 1, 2012

PHOTOS: Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu Laid to Rest, Nigeria Bids Farewell

Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu
Soldiers fired a 21-gun salute at the funeral of Odumegwu Ojukwu on Thursday as Nigerian leaders paid final respects to the late Ikemba. View pictures after the jump

Ojukwu, a caring husband

Back in the days, Ojukwu, the Biafra warlord

J.K Rawlings paying last respect to Dim Ojukwu

Ayim pius Ayim

Vice President, Namadi Sambo made the funeral too

This man couldnt hold back the tears and sorrow, Ojukwu will be missed

Odumegwu Ojukwu, the man whose 1967 declaration of Biafran independence sparked a civil war.
Forty-five years after he tried to split Nigeria asunder by proclaiming the Republic of Biafra, Ojukwu's coffin was draped in the national colours of white and green at the funeral service in the city of Enugu, attended by thousands.

Ojukwu died in November in Britain at the age of 78 but his body was only flown back on Monday.
Hundreds of armed police and security forces were deployed on the streets of Enugu during the funeral in a reminder of the continuing sensitivities around the cause for which Ojukwu became famous.

Around a million people died in Africa's most populous country during the 1967-70 conflict, mainly from disease and starvation. The images of starved children made Biafra a by-word for famine.
Ojukwu, then military governor of the eastern region, had accused the federal government of marginalisation and killing of thousands of Igbos.

Ojukwu went into exile in Ivory Coast after the Biafrans surrendered in 1970, and did not return until after a presidential pardon 13 years later. He ran for president several times following his return. He remained a revered figure in eastern Nigeria, where the Igbo people dominate. His declaration of independence for Biafra came largely in response to the killing of large numbers of Igbos in the country's north.

President Goodluck Jonathan was represented at the funeral by his deputy, Namadi Sambo. Other mourners in attendance included the Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, ex-Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings and former Commonwealth secretary general Emeka Anyaoku. Jonathan is expected to participate in Ojukwu's burial in his native southeastern hometown of Nnewi on Friday, according to his spokesman.

Authorities in Enugu state declared Thursday a public holiday in honour of Ojukwu. The Oxford-educated colonel died on November 26 in London where he had been receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

Sahara Reporters
Large crowd turn out

No comments: