Ezechukwu launches book on Ojukwu in Abuja

Posted: May 25, 2012 in arts/culture

The prominent Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre was filled long before the commencement of an event that introduced another literary work into the public space. And attendees had also waited patiently till it was all over; not even members of the high table that had men and women of prominence was deserted. That goes to show the honour accorded one of Nigeria’s most prolific journalist and writers, Uche Ezechukwu.

It was the presentation of his book, Ojukwu: the rebel I served, that all had gathered from across the country to be part of.  And just as Ezechukwu, who had worked closely with strong men across the land such as Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Gen. Mohammed Buhari pulled crowd, so did the subject of his book – Ezeigbo Gburugbruru, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the late leader of defunct Republic of Biafra. There was no doubt that everyone from all walks of life, that the journalist had come in contact with in the course of his three decades’ practice took time out to honour Ezechukwu with their presence.

As several commentators at the event noted, in this book, Ezechukwu who had worked with the late Ojukwu as a Media Assistant after he returned from exile shed light on the mind of the Biafran warlord than any work on him by other writers had done. While many wrote, based on their not so objective opinion, and from a distance, as well as what they researched about Ojukwu, it was obvious Ezechukwu set out to write on some of the more intimate details about Nigeria and prominent Nigerians that the late Ikemba Nnewi shared with him, as well as selected episodes that involved both of them as employer and employee.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman of the occasion, Senator Ben Ndi Obi said Ojukwu was not a rebel in that standard use of the word, rather he was a man who stood firmly for what he believed was just. And he stated that the presentation of the book should serve as a moment of reflection.

On his part, the Chief Servant of Niger State, Governor Babangida Aliyu, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner of Information, Danladi Umar Abdulwalid, stated that Ezechukwu is a sincere writer, and that there is need for all to emulate Ojukwu who stood for justice, for equity, and that he was a man who was prepared to die for those values that have become lacking in present day Nigeria.

He therefore called on youth to stand for what they believe is right because it is the only way the country can be lifted from its present unenviable state.

Also speaking at the event, National Chairman of All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh, and the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Chukwuma Soludo, eulogized the ideals of the one known as Ezeigbo Gburugburu, the king of Igbo people worldwide, while calling on all Nigeria to ever cherish the memory of the man of destiny, and uphold his firm resolve to stand against injustice that confronts every Nigerian no matter his tribe or religion.

There was a poetry performance at the event by Ikeogu Oke, Technical Assistant (Media and Communications) to the Minister of Power.

Other dignitaries at the occasion were the representatives of the Governor of Anambra State, Sarkin Jiwa who represented the Sultan of Sokoto, representative of the Inspector General of Police, as well as the representative of the Comptroller-General of Customs, and others.

Courtesy: Tunji Ajibade

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