Achuzia: An iroko has fallen — Ojukwu Jnr •Reveals role in ending Biafran War

Posted by Ifeoam Okafor, Awka | 3 March 2018 | 1,713 times

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•Late Biafran hero, Col Joe Achuzia

First son to the late Biafra warlord, Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Jnr.), has joined other well meaning Nigerians to eulogise Col Joe Achuzia, who recently passed away, describing him as a gallant soldier and a great Nigerian.

In a statement made available to journalists in Awka on Friday, Ojukwu Jnr observed that late Achuzia was a dependable officer who worked closely with his father, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu during the battle for the emancipation of Ndigbo as well as in the time of Nigerian Civil War.

His words: “It is with a heavy heart that I write to mark the passing of an iroko. A champion of the Igbos and a great Nigerian.

“As a civilian, before the war, he was based in Port Harcourt from where he ran a large Engineering firm which specialised in making explosives and training on its handling.

“He was the President General of the Ika Igbos at that time. He was nominated to represent the Ika Igbos at the Eastern Region Constituent Assembly which preceded the declaration of the Republic of Biafra.

“He was never in the Nigerian Military however he fought in the Korean wars from where he gained his Military and Guerrilla experience. He was tasked with putting together a Biafran Militia. Based on performance, the militia were drafted into the Biafran Army and he became a Commissioned Biafran Officer.”

Ojukwu Jnr noted that it was Achuzia’s zeal, passion and unconventional approach that distinguished him in the battle field.

He added: “Though he was criticised precisely by some as being over-zealous, during the war he was favoured by my father because of his uncanny capacity to produce results.

“He had a direct reporting line to him and he was involved on several fronts. The two of them remained quite close to the twilight of their years.”

He explained that the process of negotiating peace between the Biafra and Nigeria was commenced by Achuzia before Maj. Philip Effiong came to meet the Nigerian side adding that he was the first Biafran senior officer to make contact with the Nigerian side and lead them to Maj. Gen. Phillip Effiong.

Continuing, he said: “That contact followed a visit to him by the Biafran Director of

Propaganda, Uche Chukwumerije. He was part of the final discussions that led to Phillip Effiong’s declaration of the end of the war at which point he was interrogated

and sent to detention.

“He didn’t think he would come out alive and based on these experiences, he later published his war memoirs – Requiem Biafra.

“He was involved with Ohanaeze – he was at some point, the Secretary General while Joe Irukwu was the President Gen. He was involved in the Oputa Panel. He remained very vocal about Igbo marginalisation and supported the agitations for a new Biafra.

“While not calling out for secession, he believed strongly in self determination.

“Col J.O.G. Achuzia’s life was a life re-defined by the Biafran war as was the case with that entire generation and by extension the Igbo race. For one side he was a villain and for the other side he was, and will always remain, a War Hero.

“As a citizen of Nigeria, he was a man who chose not to sit on the sidelines as a spectator to history. Rather, he took his destiny in both hands and left an indelible mark in the history of our nation.”

Source: News Express

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