Achuzia was a gallant soldier – Ojukwu
The first son to the late former Head of State of the defunct Republic of
Biafra, Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Jr.), has described the late Col Joe
Achuzia as a gallant soldier and a great Nigerian.
Ojukwu stated in Awka that Achuzia was a dependable officer during the Nigerian Civil War and also worked closely with his father the late Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu during the battle
for the emancipation of Ndigbo.
Ojukwu lamented: “It is with a heavy heart that I write to mark the passing of an Iroko. A champion of the Ndigbo and a great Nigerian.
“As a civilian, before the war, he was based in Port Harcourt from where he ran a large Engineering firm which specialized in making
explosives and training on its handling.
“He was the President General of the Ika Igbos at that time.
“He was nominated to represent the Ika Igbo at the Eastern Region
Constituent Assembly which preceded the declaration of the Republic of Biafra.
“He was never in the Nigerian Military however he fought in the Korean wars from where he gained his Military and Guerrilla experience.
“He was tasked with putting together a Biafran Militia.
“Based on performance, the militia were drafted into the Biafran Army
and he became a Commissioned Biafran Officer.
“His zeal, his passion and his unconventional approach distinguished
him in the battle field, though he was criticized precisely by some as
“During the war he was favoured by my father because of his uncanny
capacity to produce results.
“He had a direct reporting line to him and he was involved in several
fronts. The two remained quite close to the twilight of their years”.
Ojukwu also explained that the process of negotiating peace between
Biafra and Nigeria was commenced by Achuzia before Gen. Philip Effiong came to meet the Nigerian side.
“He was the first Biafran senior officer to make contact with the
Nigerian side and led them on to Maj. Gen. Phillip Effiong.
“That contact followed a visit to him by the Biafran Director of Propaganda, Uche Chukwumerije.
“He was part of the final discussions that led to Phillip Effiong's
declaration of the end of the war at which point he was interrogated
and sent to detention.
“He didn't think he would come out alive and based on these
experiences, he later published his war memoirs - Requiem Biafra”.
“He was involved with Ohanaeze - he was at some point, the Sec. General, while Joe Irukwu was the President General.
“He was involved in the Oputa Panel.
“He remained very vocal about Igbo Marginalization and supported the agitations for a new Biafra.
“While not calling out for secession, he believed strongly in self-determination.
“Col J.O.G. Achuzia's life was a life re-defined by the Biafran war as
was the case with that entire generation and by extension the Igbo race.
“For one side he was a villain and for the other side he was, and will
always remain, a War Hero.
“As a citizen of Nigeria, he was a man who chose not to sit on the
sidelines as a spectator to history.
“Rather, he took his destiny in both hands and left an indelible mark in the history of our nation.
“As this remarkable life comes to a close, in the name of the Dim
Odumegwu-Ojukwu family, I join all well meaning Igbo and Nigerians in
honouring a life well lived”.