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Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Biafran warlord, Col. Nwawo buried with military honours
The SUN, Nigeria. Sunday, May 29, 2016
THE remains of the late Biafran warlord and one of the first generations of the Nigerian Army Officers Corps, Colonel Conrad Dibia Chukwujimje Nwawo, have been laid to rest at his home town, Onicha-Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
The war veteran who died at the age of 93 was given full military honours during the burial by the Nigerian Army, and the casket bearing the body of the gallant officer covered in Nigerian flag. The burial rites, however, witnessed poor presence of the political elite. But retired officers of the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force were well represented. The heavy presence of serving officers of the Nigerian Army from the 4 Brigade led by Col. Etim E. Etim speaks volume of the respect and regard which the military has for the late Col. Nwawo, especially for his exploits in Nigeria's peace keeping mission in Congo, which earned him Military Cross (MC) from the Queen of England, Elizabeth the II in 1963.
So far, only Nwawo and the late Col. Adekunle Fajuyi had the honour of the prestigious MC from her Majesty, the Queen of England. Nwanwo's corpse arrived St. Peter's Anglican Church, Onicha-Olona, venue of the funeral service, in a grey- colored military ambulance, and was led into the church by military officers.
Bishop of Asaba Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu, in his sermon emphasized the need for reconciliation of all stakeholders, who participated in the Nigerian civil war, whether on the side of Biafra or on the side of the Federal Government. According to Mogekwu, the spirit of reconciliation and unity must be upheld, if the nation must move forward. He noted how Nwawo and other gallant officers had suffered neglect by government for fighting on the side of Biafra during the war. His words: "Col. Nwawo was one of the few Midwesterners we were very proud of.
He was among the ten highest ranking officers of his time. I first heard of him in 1966, when the atmosphere was charged, following the massacre of the Igbos in Northern Nigeria. He was a man of honour, valour and worthy of an army officer".
Colonel J D Bambur, who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, also described the late Col. Nwawo as an "articulate, dedicated, loyal and hardworking officer, saying "in recognition of his meritorious service to the nation, he was honoured with the symbol of Passed Staff Course."
High point of the occasion was the firing of 21 gun shots by the military, which heralded the lowering of the casket into the mother earth.
Among those who attended the burial ceremony was a one-time military spokesman under military president, Ibrahim Babangida, Brigadier General Fred Chijuka and his wife.
THE IGBO RANT
BIBLICAL TRADITIONS OF NDI IGBO BEFORE THE MISSIONARIES CAME TO AFRICA* IGBO 101.
THE IGBO TRIBE AND ITS FEAR OF EXTINCTION
The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities
Written by Emeka Maduewesi
~on fb. 28th September, 2016.
The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.
The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.
In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.
Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.
In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.
The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.
Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.
The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.
The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.
The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.
This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.
RT. HON. DR. NNAMDI AZIKIWE TO DR. CHUBA OKADIGBO (1981)
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