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The Day Ojukwu Shed Tears; A leader Steeped in Justice and Compassion

‘This was an incident which taught me a big lesson. What happened was that there was a compromise between the Nigerian and Biafra troops; they decided to be friends and avoid killing each other. Their reason was that they reasoned that Ojukwu and Gowon were in bunkers, quite safe and they themselves were out there fighting, trying to kill one another. Why then should they be killing themselves? That was what we learnt later. So, they dug a massive hole, vowed, made a pledge that any arms supplied, they’d bury them there and get on with their friendship. It was sealed with parties. They came over to the Biafra side to party and our people went to their side to party and our people supplied dancers, women, they supplied drinks and cigarettes and everything during the party. So, in one of the parties, our people suddenly took gun and arrested them; they said they were up to about 200. They then rented trucks and brought them to Umuahia and put them on parade. It was one of the rare incidences, which I remember, and it really struck me. They brought them in order to receive orders to execute them ; that they were war prisoners. When we received them and lined them up, we went to tell Gen. Ojukwu the Biafra leader and he said it’s impossible. He said “I’d investigate this, this is impossible. I’m a commander. As a military officer, I know that there’s something in this.” And he prepared and came and inspected the guard of honour. He went there but his fist was so tensed; after that he came out and began to cry and thundered;

“You thought I’m so bloodthirsty; you didn’t execute them; you never executed them at the front, you brought them here for me to execute. Now take them away from here! camp them in your base and make sure you feed them till the end of the war.”
That was highly emotional. Some of the people that were there can’t remember. They would all have thought he would have said “take them away and execute them” but Ojukwu wouldn’t do that. But the fact is that Nigerian soldiers, authorities and commanders could never believe or imagine that he could do this, because some of them were ruthless in their actions against our own people’.
( Excerpts from The Sun interview Jan. 2020 titled ‘The Day Ojukwu Shed Tears’ by Obi Onubogu who was ADC to Gen. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu during the Biafra War , and today the Archbishop of Rock Family Church).