Nigeria`s secessionist leader dies

The leader of defunct Republic of Biafra, which seceded from Nigeria in 1967, General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has died at the age of 78.

Updated: Nov 26, 2011, 18:23 PM IST

Abuja: The leader of defunct Republic of
Biafra, which seceded from Nigeria in 1967, General
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu has died in a London hospital at
the age of 78.
Ojukwu , who died yesterday night at the Royal Berkshire
Hospital, was the military governor of Eastern Nigeria during
the period when people of the region were killed en masse in
the north, forcing him to declare the region independent of
the Nigerian federation.

The government of Nigeria retaliated and declared a war on
the region and for thirty months, thousands of ethnic Ibos of
the region were massacred by federal forces even as they put
up stiff resistance.

Some European countries banned supply of arms to the
Nigerian military but Britain continued to back the country
until they were able to defeat the fledgling Biafran republic.
The Oxford trained General went on self-exile in Cote
D`Ivoire in 1970 and returned in 1982 to a tumultuous welcome
in Lagos and eastern part of the country where his Ibo
tribesmen resided.

He was later crowned a ceremonial king by the Ibos and
goes by the title Dim.

Ojukwu`s opinion has continued to be respected in the oil
rich African country even as his political party, All
Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) recorded some successes in
elections by controlling two states out of the 36 that make up
the federation.

PTI