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Home arrow Africa arrow Ojukwu wishes to die Jan 13
Ojukwu wishes to die Jan 13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Punch   
Dec 23, 2010 at 02:41 AM

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Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, 77, had a wish three weeks before he was admitted into the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital: to die on January 13.

One of his aides, who did not want his name in print, disclosed this on Wednesday as arrangements to fly him overseas were being finetuned by the doctors handling his treatment.

“Three weeks ago, while trying to feed him, he told (Odumegwu-Ojukwu)me that there were signs that his end was near and that he wished it would come in January 13, 2011 to coincide with the 41st anniversary of the end of the Nigerian civil war,” the aide said.

Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army and governor of the old Eastern Region, declared the secession of the region from Nigeria in 1967. His action resulted in a 30-month civil war between Biafra Republic and Nigeria.

Feelers from the UNTH, Enugu, on Wednesday, indicated conflicting signals on the state of health of the elder statesman.

While a doctor in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital told our correspondent that Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s health had deteriorated, one of his sons said he was doing well.

“My father is fine. He is getting better,” he said but refused appeals by our correspondent to give his name.

However, the doctor disclosed that the ex-Biafran warlord’s health condition had deteriorated to the level that the Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, out of panic, had to rush down to the UNTH to see him.

Obi was accompanied by government officials; the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Chief Victor Umeh, and other party stalwarts.

The doctor added that the governor had to provide funds when the hospital management informed him that it was one of the challenges hindering the moves to fly Odumegwu-Ojukwu abroad for further treatment.

He said, “He will be flown out soon. As at this morning (Wednesday), plans were being made for him to be taken abroad. The money issue that seemed a challenge, I heard, it has been settled by the governor who was in the hospital today (Wednesday).

“So when we notice any sign of improvement in the Ikemba, he will be flown out.”

Another aide of the elder statesman, confirmed that all was set for his boss to be taken abroad.

“Barring any last-minute setback, my oga (boss) should be flown out tonight (Wednesday) or tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.

The aide claimed that Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s son, who spoke earlier with our correspondent, was “only being economical with the truth.”

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