Emeka Ojukwu Jnr, the first son of Biafran warlord and hero, late Dim Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Ezeigbo) has accused his father’s second wife, Bianca of being responsible for his death.
While speaking of the forthcoming Anambra elections in a recent interview, Emeka categorically stated that he cannot support Governor Willie Obiano’s re-election campaign because of some of the people he has chosen to associate himself with such as Bianca.
According to News Express, Obiano who has a lot of activities lined up for Ojukwu’s ongoing (post-humous) birthday celebration had at several times invited and approached Emeka Ojukwu Jnr to join him, but he (Emeka) declined.
“In the last three years, has Anambra State celebrated Ezeigbo’s birthday? Have they celebrated the anniversary of his death? Have any memorials been put up in his honour? Have any edifices or institution been named after him? Now on the eve of the election, it has become expedient to celebrate his birthday. To be honest with you, the stench of the hypocrisy has become nauseating. I was hitherto once an unwilling participant in this charade and I can no longer abide by it. You have a situation where my father’s memory was invoked to help usher him into office and once elected, all things Ezeigbo where promptly set aside. Billboards with his pictures were taken down, new party clothes and materials were printed without his image, while the incoming Governor was focused on creating his own identity. Now, three-and-a- half years later, Ezeigbo’s pictures are back in full effect in an attempt to use his image yet again for some people’s personal political ambitions.
“Yes, I am aware of the invitations and I shall take my time in choosing to take a stand with the candidate of my choice. The truth is, I cannot go on a campaign with Obiano for one final reason, and that is because of some of the people he has chosen to associate himself with; people who speak from both sides of their mouth as long as it serves their own interests,” Emeka Ojukwu Jnr said.
Referring to Bianca in particular, Ojukwu’s son explained that she has now turned against former Governor Peter Obi who came through for the family when Ojukwu was gravely ill.
“I know that you are aware of what Bianca has been saying and I do not want to associate myself with her. This is a woman who wants to create an impression that she loved Ezeigbo, but while Ezeigbo was sick she chose not to take care of him and rather pleased herself until she got tired of waiting for him to die.
“She had made many disparaging remarks about former Governor Peter Obi in an attempt to curry favour with Obiano, forgetting that when Ezeigbo was gravely ill, Obi, with the help of his friends, was able to get a private jet and took my father to England so that he could get the medical attention he received.
“She forgets also that it was Peter Obi and other well-meaning folks who were instrumental in persuading the then President Goodluck Jonathan to accord my father what was, in essence, a state funeral. I remain grateful for what he did for Ezeigbo and for the family. Keep in mind that regardless of whatever support my father might have given to him, it was not mandatory that he extend himself in that manner. After all his name is Obi and not Ojukwu.
“When Ezeigbo had a stroke, he was being “treated” at home. He was neither given a CT scan, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) nor subjected to any of the standard procedures applicable to a stroke victim. She insisted on having him treated in his bedroom by her doctor, against the wishes of the family for two weeks! At some point, family members were stopped at the gate from inquiring about Ezeigbo’s condition. On several occasions, I had to force myself in to see him. So all this grandstanding that Bianca is putting up is just to create a false impression about her relationship with my father and unsuspecting members of the public are buying into it,” he said.
Speaking of how Ojukwu was flown to England in Bianca’s company during his last days, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr said:
“All the evidence is available and well documented. First of all, the air ambulance provided only had room for one family member and it was decided that she should go with him in the ambulance.
“Certain changes were made in terms of treatment centres. Lynden Hill Clinic was the third place he was moved to. We were dismayed by the decision, because you have to understand that throughout his treatment, he required 24-hour nursing care, and that particular centre was ill-equipped to handle a patient in his condition, even with 24-hour nursing. That was why he was transferred, yet again, to the Royal Berkshire when his health, predictably, deteriorated. Several members of my father’s immediate and extended family, including myself, made a concerted effort to have him moved to a neurological rehabilitation centre, where he would receive the sort of treatment he needed. But again, Bianca blocked our efforts, and on the 25th of November, 2011, a date I will never forget, without reference to the family, she had him discharged from the Royal Berkshire and transferred to yet another ill-equipped nursing home, this time in London, where he died a few hours later.”
Emeka Ojukwu Jnr also disclosed how and when his problems with Bianca began. His words:
“Actually, she and I had a good relationship earlier which later deteriorated and then severed to a point of no repair after the circumstances of my father’s death. At the funeral, Bianca did not want me to bury my father. She claimed to be the chief mourner; a claim which I rejected outrightly and it took the intervention of elders, especially Prof. A. B.C. Nwosu, former Minister for Health, who stood by me saying that such a thing will be an abomination in Igboland, and she had to accept her role as the griever, while I buried my father as the first son.
“Even when my mother, Njideka Odumegwu-Ojukwu died, Bianca insisted that she will not be buried in my father’s compound and asked Ezeigbo to get a place outside our compound to bury my mother, but my father and I refused. Again the same elders intervened and that was why I built a guest house and buried my mother in front of it next to the main house.
On the on-going court case Bianca has with the Ojukwu family over properties, Emeka Jnr said:
“When you hear about Bianca being in court over our property, people do not know the story. The property in question belongs to my grandfather, not my father. Ojukwu Transport Limited (OTL) belonged to my grandfather.
“Sir Odumegwu, my grandfather, has a surviving wife, Lady Virginia and she is therefore still alive. He had children, Joseph, the elder one; Emeka, my father; and Lotanna, the youngest. Joseph, my father and Lotanna all have children. I am in my 50s and some of these grandchildren of Sir Odumegwu are older than me. So for Bianca to show up to lay claim to certain choice property in Ikoyi as having been handed over to her and her young children by Ezeigbo is ridiculous and I wonder how that could be possible, given that Sir Odumegwu left all the property in question under OTL. OTL has a Board of Directors. My father was a director before he died and I am now a director. Being a director of OTL does not constitute having ownership of OTL property. A man cannot bequeath what he does not own.
Emeka also addressed allegations of a controversy between himself, Bianca and an Ojukwu cousin – Robert Okonkwo.
“I resigned from Peter Obi’s government for my own reasons. In the case of Robert Okonkwo, who is a cousin to the Ojukwu family, Bianca has always wanted to bring him up at all times and that explains why he came into Peter Obi’s government after I left. Bianca and Robert are in a better position to explain the exact nature of their relationship. Certainly though, if he is still living in the house she shared with my father, then she can only blame herself for all the rumours.”
When asked why Bianca appears to be embroiled in political controversies unlike the wives of late Obafemi Awolowo or late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and their likes, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr said:
“I am not them and I am not her. But I can hazard a guess and say that in the other cases, the people involved understood the significance of their husband’s legacy and the need to protect it, rather than to try to assume the role of their late husbands. Even as his son, I am always careful and understand that the love and respect shown to me by many is as a result of the love and respect they have for my late father, not because of anything I did. And I am therefore always careful not to cross that line and assume that I am him.
“My late father served his people and his country well and made an indelible mark in the world evidenced by the outpouring of love shown by all during his funeral. It is time to allow Ezeigbo to rest.”