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Dim Ojukwu: A Visionary Statesman
*Ojukwu Turns 72 Years Today
- Nigeria/Africa Masterweb News Desk
(Friday, November 4, 2005)
Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu popularly referred to as Dim Ojukwu or Ikemba( meaning strength of a nation ) turned 72 years today. He was born on November 4, 1933 in Zungeru in northern Nigeria to Sir and Mrs. Louis Ojukwu, who owned a very successful transport business. Sir Louis Ojukwu was one of the wealthiest men in Nigeria at the time of his death in 1966. Chief Ojukwu was born with a silver spoon as could be seen, but abandoned it to dine with the poor and oppressed with bare hands. He could be correctly described as man of the people.
Masterweb was granted an interview by the Ikemba on Sunday, September 25, 2005, in Maryland, U.S.A. Chief Ojukwu spoke with humor and compassion as our CEO, Chief Charles O. Okereke discussed a wide range of issues with him. This was the first physical contact between Dim Ojukwu and Chief Okereke, which according to the later was a historic encounter. Chief Okereke saw it as a historic encounter because it enabled him to make a judgment on one of the foremost historic icons of modern day Nigeria.
Ojukwu certainly is a household name, even when you omit his first name Emeka or Chukwuemeka . There are many shining qualities that people have come to see in this legendary statesman which include disciplinarian, visionary leadership, courage and honesty. Chief Okereke saw in Ojukwu, His Excellency, a Mandela that was destined to see the people through the Nigerian tribal, religious and economic brick-wall.
The Ikemba was strong and healthy when our CEO met him. Age looked like an 'edge' over another in wisdom with Dim Ojukwu according to Masterweb chief executive. The legendary statesman spoke with great eloquence and oratory during the encounter. He was most concerned about the quality of live of Nigerians and Africans in general and believes hope was not lost yet. When reminded of his important place in history and the need for a library in his honor, he said the issue of the proposed Nigerian presidential library was tainting such projects.
Chief Okereke explained that with an Ikemba library Nigerians especially Ndigbo would not have problem funding it. The history of Nigeria would be incomplete without mention of Chief Ojukwu. All that this great statesman stood up against during the Nigerian civil war from all indications as seen today, are what Nigeria needs to survive as a nation. Chief Okereke saw him a perfect nationalist and visionary statesman Nigeria and Africa in general need at the center in the 21st century. Africa needs to draw from the wisdom of great minds to stand the test of time and maintain her rightful place in the world.
There was one thing that stood out above others, which was Dim Ojukwu's humility which according to Chief Okereke he had never seen before. This also manifested on the closeness between him and his children. In fact they were cuddling around him when Chief Okereke walked in for the interview. The Ikemba is both a good husband and father. One could tell when a couple is happily married and this was the picture Masterweb saw in Ojukwu's family. Ojukwu and his wife Bianca were consistently beaming with smiles; the children looked happy and loved.
Chief Charles O. Okereke( left ) interviewing Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu( right )
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