November 26, 2011
Saharareporters has just confirmed that Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu died in London in the early hours of today after a long illness in a hospital in the UK. One of the most charismatic figures in Nigeria’s history, Mr. Ojukwu, who held the traditional title of Ikemba Nnewi, came to international prominence when he served as leader of the secessionist Biafra during a bloody civil war in Nigeria from 1967 to 1970. An Oxford-educated historian, he became the face and voice of the doomed struggle by south-eastern Nigerians to achieve self-rule. A source within the family told Saharareporters that Ikemba Nnewi died in the UK after months of hospitalization to treat the effects of a serious stroke he had suffered late last year. The late Ojukwu was married to Bianca Ojukwu (nee Onoh), an ex-beauty queen in Nigeria. He is survived by numerous children, including Emeka Odumegwu, Jr. and Okigbo Ojukwu, who is based in London. Mr. Emeka Ojukwu, Jr. has issued a statement confirming his father’s death.