28th February, 2013
Prominent Igbo leaders this morning took umbrage at the reported demolition of a library built in memory of the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, by unknown people in Owerri, Imo State, Southeast Nigeria.
The library, Ojukwu Memorial Library, was built by the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Dr. Ralph Uwazuruike, to immortalise Ojukwu.
The widow of the late Biafran leader, Bianca, was the first to react to the demolition when she visited the scene of the demolished property.
Bianca Ojukwu, who is also the Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, described the destruction as a sheer act of wickedness, saying that the public would have benefitted greatly from the use of the library facilities.
“I am astonished that an Igbo man can be capable of such wickedness; to destroy something built in memory of a man the entire Igbo nation is so proud of,” she said.
Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, who was present at the venue, also condemned the destruction.
“The effort it took to build this library should be appreciated and not repaid in this manner,” he said.
The leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Mr. Ralph Uwazurike who funded the building of the library, expressed his displeasure at the demolition.
He, however, said that work on the project would continue despite the setback.
Uwazurike also promised to compensate his neighbours whose properties were also destroyed.
A prominent Igbo leader in Lagos, Eze Christian Nwachukwu said the destruction was a bad omen and showed lack of respect for Ojukwu who lived and died for Ndigbo.
He called for the arrest of the perpetrators of the act.
Eze Ndigbo in Mushin, Eze John Nwosu, reasoned that those who demolished the library must be anti-Igbo elements and called on the security agents to investigate the demolition and bring the culprits to book.
Nwosu lamented that such a wicked act was done to the late Ikemba Nnewi who stood by Ndigbo till his death.
“It (demolition) is sad. Instead of commending and encouraging Ralph Uwazuruike for the noble idea of immotalising Ikemba through a library, those who are working against Ndigbo went and demolished the structure,” he stated.
Also reacting, the National President of Market Leaders Association of Nigeria, Deacon Friday Obi, described the demolition of the library as unfortunate. “Ojukwu deserves every honour and those who demolished the structure were working towards disintergrating the Ndigbo,” he stated.
He commended Uwazuruike for honouring Ojukwu with the building of a library which he named after him.
“I appeal to Ndigbo to unite and come together, otherwise our dream for the presidency may be a mirage,” he added.
President of the Igbo Speaking Community in Lagos State, Chief Ebere Ubani, said the action was uncalled for and urged the police to investigate the matter and fish out those behind the act.
Ubani said Ojukwu deserves every honour because of the role he played among Ndigbo when he was alive.
He said efforts must be made to immortalise him.