•Nwodo eulogises Achuzia at night of tribute
Raphael Ede, Enugu
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called on the military to fished out the soldiers who allegedly massacred Igbo during the Operation Python Dance without justification.
The group vowed not to relent until they are fished out.
President-General of Ohanaeze, John Nnia- Nwodo, stated this yesterday at the night of tributes organised in honour of the former secretary general of the group and Biafran war veteran, the late Col. Joseph Achuzia, at Enugu Sports Club.
“I had the opportunity to confront the leadership of the Army, who gave me an assurance that there is going to be a court martial of all soldiers involved in that behaviour that was contrary to their rules of engagement.
“I have been following this matter with correspondence and I will continue to follow it until we know those who massacred our children without cause,” he resolved.
The Ohanaeze president general, who praised Achuzia, said: “From the Igbo-speaking part of Delta State, Asaba, Achuzia threw himself into the Biafran war with unsurpassed bravery, exemplary military discipline and the tact of historical generals of great wars.
“His single-minded approach to the Baifran War made him the dread of any soldier who exhibited any sign of cowardice or equivocation as far as the war was concerned.
“The severity of his enforcement of military discipline earned him the nickname ‘AirRaid’ while his bravery was likened to that of ‘Hannibal the Great’, hence, his other nickname, ‘Hannibal’.
“His bravery was such that he was always posted to any front which defied solution or where the battle was toughest, such that he was believed, then, to be invincible and a cat with nine lives.”
Nwodo, said Achuzia represented an opportunity for Igbo to dramatise “our brotherhood, our oneness in recognition of the tremendous carnage that befell our brothers in the cause of the war in Asaba. “When it came to giving sacrifices for Igboland, they killed more than many of us.
“I am happy to be one of the people sent to Asagba of Asaba at the end of the war to say to our kit and kin in Delta that we are extremely sorry that we have not shown enough sympathy for the carnage in that part of Igbo land, and for the fact that we, the brothers, haven’t come to pay our respect for the dead since the war ended. All of us knelt down at the house of the Asagba of Asaba; I saw Ojukwu on his knees.
“I led the national executive of Ohanaeze to Asaba last year when they remembered 700 of our people who were murdered by federal troops, contrary to the rules of engagement, the same kind of thing that happened to us not too long ago when we had the operation ‘python dance’.
“So, as we come here today, I welcome you for coming; for Ohanaeze, it is a thing of joy that we are given the opportunity for Achuzia and family to celebrate one of our own,” he said.