by Dr. S. Okechukwu Mezu
"Would Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe have seceded from Nigeria and declared Biafra's Independence if he were in control of the situation. The answer is definitely NO. Would Dr. Azikiwe have worked out an accommodation under the Aburi Accord that projected a Confederation. The answer is definitely YES. General Ojukwu is General Ojukwu and Zik of Africa is Zik of Africa and never, never the twain shall meet. The above is a veiled and indirect response to the entreaty from John Okiyi viz: "I will write Dr. Mezu to weigh in and give us his honest view [about Dr. Azikiwe and General Ojukwu]. Our elders are still alive and can guide us." There will be time to talk about Ojukwu, the war and Ojukwu's return to Nigeria. I was privileged to hold a private and extended discussion with him after his return from exile. It would be inappropriate to delve into those discussions at this time." quoted from "Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe," by Dr. S. Okechukwu Mezu, http://eboeville.ning.com/
After writing the above on November 16, 2011, little did I know then that Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, born November 4, 1933 would die ten days later on 26 November 2011.
What would have been the nature and shape of my life, my forty-three years of marriage to my wife, Dr. Rose Ure Mezu, our family, the number of children (ten) we have? What direction would life have taken me, my family, the family of Dr. S. Okechukwu and Dr. Rose Ure Mezu, if, if my life and that of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu had not intersected during the Nigeria-Biafra War?
"Are you married?" asked Ojukwu finally.
"No," replied Dr. S. Okechukwu Mezu. "But I have a fiancée. We were engaged on June 10, 1968."
"You must get married immediately," continued Ojukwu. "I am sending you to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, as Biafra's Ambassador. You are a young man. I want you to travel with your wife. I have not allowed any Biafran diplomat or elder to travel out with their wife during this war - Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Kenneth Dike, Dr. Michael Okpara, Dr. Pius Okigbo, Dr. Otue, Sir Louis Mbanefo, Chief C. C. Mojekwu etc. - If they leave Biafra with their wives, I know they will never come back to Biafra. You are different. You were abroad, joined us from there. I can trust you fully. Tomorrow, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will prepare your passport and that of your wife and the two of you will leave for Abidjan with the next flight out of Uli Airport. They will also prepare the necessary letters of authority."
General Ojukwu did not even ask for my opinion. He seemed not to care whether I was from Owerri or Onitsha or Nnewi, or Calabar. He knew of my work for Biafra in Paris from all his emmissaries that came there. He probably saw something in me. Our ideas about the war, our fears about its prosecution were identical. We could communicate without talking. He was simple, calm and ponderous. He had no illusions about the daunting tasks ahead and the immense suffering of our people. He knew I would accept. I did accept. I was then twenty-seven years old. He was thirty three.