Sunday, March 4, 2012

On Ojukwu: A rebel with a cause by Wole Soyinka

The Nation
2 March 2012

Africa's most respected playwright and Noble Prize recipient Prof.Wole Soyinka spoke at Massey College in Toronto.

The late Chukwumeka Ojukwu did not just call out his people for war. He was a rebel with a cause, writes Prof. Wole Soyinka in this tribute

"Having mandated me to proclaim on your behalf, and in your name, that Eastern Nigeria be a sovereign independent Republic, now, therefore I, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, by virtue of the authority, and pursuant to the principles recited above, do hereby solemnly proclaim that the territory and region known as and called Eastern Nigeria together with her continental shelf and territorial waters, shall, henceforth, be an independent sovereign state of the name and title of The Republic of Biafra.”

With these words, on May 30 of the year 1967, a young, bearded man, thirty-four years of age in a fledgling nation that was barely seven years old, plunged that nation into hitherto uncharted waters, and inserted a battalion of question marks into the presumptions of nation-being on more levels than one.

No comments:

Post a Comment