The eldest son of the late Biafran warlord, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Mr. Dede Odumegwu Ojukwu, has called on Nigerians to support the pro-Biafra agitators to actualise the dream of the Biafra state.
Making the call yesterday during a colloquium organised by a Lagos lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, in honour of late iconic lawyer, human right activist and politician, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, the young Ojukwu said agitations in the country were predicated on some iniquities that had not been atoned.
“My take is that they should agitate for Biafra; they (the agitators) should be supported to have a Biafra, state. The worst thing in a marriage is when you say a marriage is indissoluble.
A woman is like a bird, give her chance to fly, she would fly away, after some time she would return to the cage and become yours forever, but when you cage her; tie her in, she might even destroy your roof.
“So the solution about Biafra is within Nigeria; make the Igbo people comfortable, make sure that everything is okay because the easiest thing to do is leadership but some people misuse it.
For instance, if you come in a year and you are talking about budget and someone says we have 3600km of road to tar – that is what can be accommodated in the budget and we have 36 state. If you say since we have 36 states every state should take 100km nobody will be interested in your post as the president but when you move and say because I am from Nnewi, I will take 300km, there will be problem
“So, it is because of the iniquities in the country that we have agitations, remove those iniquities and I bet you there will never be any issue,” he said.
Dede who was among several other speakers at the event who pour encomium on the late Braithwaite also underscored the very cordial relationship between his late father and the late Braithwaite, said during the course of their relationship, Braithwaite kept his father’s secrets.
“The relationship he had with my father was very cordial and he (Braithwaite) never betrayed his friend. Nobody heard the secret of Ojukwu.
“They were very close. As I mentioned, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, at a point was my father’s personal lawyer and for you to have personal lawyer you know what it means. For every human being endeavours, you have intimate relationships with your lawyer, your accountant, your doctor and your priest. They were very close.
“If you look at it, my father had three very identifiable Yoruba friends, but if you look at them you will see that they looked physically identical. He had Engineer Fashola, who was his closest Yoruba friend, an uncle to the former governor of Lagos State. Then he had Wole Soyinka and he had Braithwaite. That was why during the ceremony marking my father’s transition, they were all well represented. Dr. Braithwaite at the TBS ceremony looked Nigeria in the face and told Nigeria that Odumegwu Ojukwu did not fight against Nigeria; rather, he defended the Igbo.
“He didn’t fear for any recrimination. He is a very truthful person, typical; he said he never fought Nigeria but rather, people have been misled to believe that Ojukwu fought Nigeria. He never fought Nigeria. He defended the Igbo. Then Prof. Soyinka in Enugu gave a memorable eulogy of his friend and that is what friendship is all about.
“The future of this country is bright if we eschew those things that divide us; we allowed a division, a kind of tribalism in trying to undercut one and other and that is the bane of the Nigerian society. When they grew up there was no Yoruba boy, there was no Igbo boy and there was no Hausa boy. That was why that was why when he sees Dr. Braithwaite, he would say ‘Tunji’, when he sees Prof. Soyinka, he would not call him Prof, and he would say ‘Wole,’ because they grew up together.
“Corruption came in when we started introducing this is my fellow Igbo, this is my fellow Yoruba. It was never like that,” he added.
Other speakers, including the convener of the colloquium, Oluyede, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; The chairman of the Editorial Board of The Nation Newspapers, Sam Omatseye, who represented former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu; General Overseer of Soul Winning Chapel, Rev. Moses Iloh; Comrade Debo Adeniran of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL); Director of Research, People Redemption Party (PRP) who represented Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Richard Umar; political activist and chieftain of the Nigerian Advance Party, Ike Ezechukwu; former chairman, Amuwo Idofin, Comrade Adewale, Nigerian professor of political economy and founder, Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Prof. Pat Utomi, Abiodun Aremu and Dr. Odion Akain, all praised the high values of the late Braithwaithe and emphasised the need for the country to sustain his legacies.