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Jack Ojukwu: One with the Ages
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] The secessionist leader during Nigeria's civil war in the late 1960s and a pivotal figure in the country's history, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, has died at 78, the presidency announced Saturday.

"President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has received with much sadness and a deep feeling of great national loss news of the passing away of Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu in the United Kingdom," a statement said.

It did not say when Ojukwu died or give the cause of death. He had been ill and receiving treatment in Britannia for a number of months.

The Oxford-educated Ojukwu, who had been an army lieutenant colonel, led the campaign for an independent state of Biafra in eastern Nigeria in the 1960s that included a two-and-a-half year civil war from 1967-1970 which left more than a million dead.

He remains a revered figure in eastern Nigeria, where the Igbo people dominate.

Ojukwu's 1967 declaration of independence for Biafra came largely in response to the killing of large numbers of Igbos in the country's north.

Control of the country's vast oil resources also played an important role in the war. Many of those who died succumbed to starvation and disease.
Posted by:Fred