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Bianca’s Tribute To Ojukwu: ‘You Were The Lion Of My History Book’



How do i sum up 23 years in one page? I don’t know. How do i describe you? I cannot in any depth. Not for anybody else – you were my husband, my brother, my friend, my child. I was your Queen, it was an honour to have served you.

You were the lion of my history book, the leader of my nation when we faced extinction, the larger than life history to come to my life – living, breathing legend. But unlike the history books, you defied all preconceptions. You made me cry from laughter with your jokes, many irreverent, melted my heart with your kindness. Your impeccable manners made prince charming a living reality. Your fearlessness made by the man i dreamt of all my life and your total lack of  seeking public approval before speaking your mind separated you from mere mortals.

Every year that i spent with you was an adventure – no two days were the same. With you, i was finally able to soar on wings wider than the ocean, with you i was blessed with the best children God in heaven had to give. With you, i learnt to face the world without fear and learnt daily the things that matter most. Your disdain for money was novel – sometimes funny, other things quite alarming. It mattered not a whit to you. Your total dedication to your people Ndi – Igbo was so absolute that reality, very little else mattered. You never craved anybody’s praise as long as you believed that you were doing the right thing and even in the face of utmost danger, you never relented from speaking truth to power to you, what after all was power? It was not that conferred by the gun, nor that stolen from the ballot box. No, you understood that power transcended all that. Power is the freedom to be true to yourself and to God, no matter the cost.

It is the freedom from bondage. It is freedom to seek the wellbeing of your people just because you love them. It is the ability to move a whole nation without a penny as inducement nor a gun to force them. When an entire nation can rise up for one person for no other reason than that they love him and know he is their leader – sans gun, money, official title or any strange paraphernalia – this is power.

To try to contain you in words is futile, you span the breath of human experience – full of laughter, Joy, kindness and sometimes, almost childlike in your ability to find something good in almost everyone and every situation. You could flare up at any injustice and in the next instant, sing military songs to the children. You could analyse a situation with incredible swiftness and accuracy. In any generation, there can only be one like you. You were the one star. You were a child of destiny, born for no other time than the one you found yourself in. Destined to lead your people at the time total extinction was staring at us in the face. There was no one else. You gained nothing from it. You used all the resources you had to wage a war of survival. You fourth that we might live. The truth is finally coming out and even those who fourth and brought you home to your people.

You lived Nigeria. You spent so much of your waking moments devising ways through which Nigeria could progress to Tai-Two!!! You were the eternal optimist, always hoping that one day; God will touch His people and give us one vision and the diligence to work towards the dream. It never came to pass in your life time. Instead, the disaster you predicted if we continued on the same path has come home to roost. You always saw so clearly. You words are indelibly preserved for this generation to read and learn and perhaps heed and turn. You always said the dry bones will rise again but you always hoped we would not become the dry bones by our actions. Above all, you feared for your own people, crying out against the relentless oppression that has ceased since the end of the war and saddened by the acceptance of this position by your own people. In death, you have awakened the spirit that we thought had died. Your people are finally waking up.

At home, you were the father any child would dream of having. At no point did our children have to wonder where you were. You were ever at their disposal, playing with them, teaching them of a big gone era, teaching them the world they live in and giving them the total the total security of knowing you were always present.

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