Friday, March 2, 2012

Bianca Ojukwu: Tribute To My Husband

Dim Oma!

By Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu

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

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu And His,
Wife, Bianca

You were the lion of my history books, the leader of my nation when we faced extinction, the larger-than-life history 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. You awed me with your wisdom. You melted my heart with your kindness. Your impeccable manners made Prince Charming a living reality. Your fearlessness made you 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 times quite alarming.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu 
With His Wife,Bianca And Their Children
It mattered not a whit to you. Your total dedication to your people - Ndi-Igbo - was so absolute that really, very little else mattered. You never craved anybody's praise as long as you believed that you were doing right 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 freedom from fear. It is 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 - that is power.

To try to contain you in words is futile. You span the breadth 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 that 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 us in the face. There was no one else. You gained nothing from it. You used all the resources you had just to wage a war of survival. You fought to keep us alive when we were being slaughtered like rams for no reason. Today, we find ourselves in the same situation but you are not here. You fought that we might live. The truth is finally coming out and even those who fought you now acknowledge that you had no choice. For your faithfulness, God kept you and brought you home to your people.

You loved 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 lifetime. Instead, the disaster you predicted if we continued on the same path has come home to roost. You always saw so clearly. Your 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 not 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 bygone era, teaching them of the world they live in and giving them the total security of knowing you were always present.

In mercy, God gave me a year to prepare for the inevitable. I could never have survived an instant departure. In mercy, God ensured that your final week on earth was spent only with me and that on your last day, you were back to your old self. I cannot but thank God for the joy of that final day - the jokes, the laughter, the songs. It was a lifetime packed into a few hours, filled with hope that many tomorrows would follow and that we would be home for Christmas. You deceived me. You were so emphatic that we would be going home. I did not know you meant a different home.

 The swiftness of your departure remains shocking to me. You left on the day I least expected. But I cannot fight God. He owns your life and mine. I know that God called you home because every other time it seemed you were at death's door, you fought like the lion that God made you and always prevailed. In my eyes, even death was no match for you. But who can say 'no' to the Almighty God? You walked away with Him, going away with such peace that I can only bow to God's sovereignty. Your people have remembered. The warrior of our land has gone. The flags are lowered in your honour. Our hearts are laden with grief.

But I will trust that the living God who gave you to me will look after me and our children. Through my sadness, the memories will always shine bright and beautiful.

Adieu, my love,
My husband,
My lion,
Amuma na Egbe Igwe,
Odenigbo Ngwo.
Eze-Igbo Gburugburu,
Ibu dike.
Chukwu gozie gi,
Chukwu debe gi.
Anyi ga afu na omesia.
Bianca Ojukwu Is The Widow Of Late Dim Chukwuemka Odumegwu-Ojukwu

This tribute was widely circulated by the author. This copy was however culled from Daily SUN


  1. He was an honorabke Man and may God strengthen you Bianca and your kids. It is well. God has given and has taken.May his name be praised and glorified.


    1. That Bianca is a gem of a human being-high pedigreed but humble, brilliant but balanced, beautiful but no braggart, feminine but no femme fatale-the pride of the Biafra-Igbo.

      During their long summer sojourn in Washington, D.C. in 2001, Ikemba told me that Bianca's brain is like a "sponge" that "soaks up" everything; this was in response to my question: Whom should we consult about his life and about the Biafra story after he is gone? Without equivocation the answer was: Bianca!

      But Ikemba never told me that his Queen-our Queen-can also write so beautifully-write prose as poetry!

      But Bianca, Ojukwu's lifelong mission: the survival of our people is once again threatened by the same old evil forces that sought our extermination. And I am glad that as in the years past, IWA and and our mothers, grandmothers and sisters, are coming to the rescue; and we hope Bianca is with them. Ikemba would expect nothing less.

  2. Bianca, you're a blessed woman. God in His infinite mercies will Guide guard, protect you and the Kids and will give you and the entire family and the nation the heart to bear the lost of your dear husband Gen.ChukwuEmeka Odumegwu-Ikemba of Nnewi.Accept our heart felt sympathy. May his kind soul rest in Peace.Nkoli.

  3. "Your disdain for money was novel - sometimes funny, other times quite alarming."

    I met this couple in New York at a time and I can only say that which I have always said of this man. God only sends one of his kind in a generation or a century. He was the most humble as well as the most furious man one can meet. It depends on what the circumstances called for. Every sentence delivered here is true to the letter. The part about money is unique, this man could have had all that he needed but he is not influenced by it. It did not matter to him and I remember when we met them in New York, you couldn't tell the difference between this larger than life couple and we the regular folks.

  4. This is just an excelent tribute to a well deserved one.I join Bianca to bid you,Ikemba, Eze ndi Igbo gburugburu,farewell.As zillions of people continue to testify of the legacy you left behind.Let it be a source of hope to mankind especially your family and the ibos in general.There is no doubt about your final abode. May your soul rest in perfect peace. AMEN.

  5. Fitting tribute to the most illustrious son of Igbo land by an articulate and loving wife. Ikemba will live forever! He typifies the true igboman that we all should aspire to be!

  6. The King is dead, long live the King. Igbo kwenu, kwenu, kwezuo nu.

  7. Well done Bianca. You are a true wife and mother to our hero. Yes you are a true daughter of Igboland. God will keep, guard and guide you. Take heart. Mike Onubogu

  8. Our First Lady Bianca you have said it all about my Hero. You typify the true daughter and mother of Igbo land. May God continue to grant you and our children His peace that surpasses all understanding. My hero is dead yet his ideals and spirit live on. Thank God for giving us General Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu for such a time. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
    Louis Obiajulu Okonkwo

  9. Sarah Adaobi EzemmaMarch 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Sarah Ezemma
    It is a sad day, a difficulty time of the day when the news broke that the rising sun, and the leader of ndi Igbo has gone to sleep, but one thing is clear----his love,and wisdom will remain with us for ever. Gbamgbam na eche nmmili ndi Igbo sleep in peace.

  10. Chief Cyril C. Nwaguru, Ikeoha 1March 3, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    His Excellency,has gone home to meet his maker and his ancestors. We take solace in his rich legacies to his people that span across all ethnic groups but mostly the people in the South East and South South. God gave a wife he could be very proud of and we all bear testimonies of her eloquence and courage under such a fire as losing her trusted husband and our EZE GBURUGBURU,the Great Ikemba Nnewi. God Bless us All and give us the courage to endure his painful loss,Amen!

  11. They are few people, who climbed the mountain without seeing the promised land, Bro Odumegwu Ojukwu, You Are Among This Few. REST IN PEACE.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this master-piece-eulogy on a great man. Bianca is blessed to have shared a family life with this man among men. Chei, dike alaa!! Also, being able to summarize the ubiquitous life of Ikemba in just few pages worths commended. May God grant Ojukwu's famly and Ndigbo in general the fortitude to bear the loss. It was Ojukwu that passed, there will never be another one like him at least for some time. WHO CAN RISE UP TO THAT FIT? Thank you so much Mr Ejinkeonye for sharing. I truly appreciate. May God Lord keep you glowing. Malachy

  13. This is a masterpiece from Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, the well-admired queen of the the late Ikemba. It was such a moving eulogy, so profound. This has brought out another side of Bianca unknown to most people before now. May God comfort her and her children, and comfort Ndigbo too.

  14. This is awesome Bianca .has said it all.Ikemba is irreplaceable Nigeria and Ndiigbo in particular has lost a hero.A Great son of the soil who speaks the truth without sugar coating it or dancing around.This is what i call character.If Nigeria will have ten people like Ojukwu then were ready for a change.The Ikemba 1 of igboland,gburugburu,overall,dike,ofu onye anasi unu abiana.the fearless warrior.Bianca take heart and be strong to carry on the legacy of this great leader.Adieu Ikemba.

    1. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Bianca, God's grace will always shine on you and give you peace -- Nodum Nma!

  15. Humphery OnyemaechiJune 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Thank you Bianca for the humility you displayed in the eulogy for our beloved leader General Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.I was particularly humbled where you thanked your late husband for allowing you to serve him.Ojukwu's life re-enforced the saying that Good name is worth much more than silver and Gold.For us not to be extinquished as planned by the Northern Oligachy he sacrified everything and was ready to die so that we shall leave.We can only thank God for making such a selfless man available for the Igbos when we all faced death.ojukwu the Moses of our time shall leave forever in our mind.Bianca take heart the Igbos and God who gave Ikemba to us shall support you forever.

  16. It is not about those that persecute us but it is about our friends/relations that stayed aloof and watched them kill us. What could have happened had Dim Ojukwu not been on duty as the Governor of Eastern Region? Ndiigbo where have all the soldiers gone? Mrs. B Ojukwu said it all and Dim's name has been written in the annals of our historical and cultural heritage as Ozu Igbo Ndu

  17. It is not about those that persecute us but it is about our friends that stayed aloof and watched them kill us. What could have happened had Dim Ojukwu not been on duty as the Governor of Eastern Region? Mrs. B Ojukwu said it all and Dim's name has been written in the annals of our historical and cultural heritage as Ozu Igbo Ndu

  18. The most beautiful peace I have ever read about love between a man and a woman. I challenge all to borrow from this peace and make our world a better place.


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