Why was the name of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu missing in the list??
I have taken time to analyse President Buhari’s inaugural Speech, and I find this a bit discomforting;
“In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country.”
If Chief J.S Tarka’s name found its way into the list of our founding fathers, why was that of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu missing?
In case you never knew, Tarka was the first Nigerian to lead the middle belt inot an attempt to secede and even carry arms and stand on the opposing side of a United Nigeria. He was arrested in 1962 on charges of treasonable felony with some other Action Group leaders, but was acquitted for lack of “evidence”.
Tarka was elected to a seat in the Federal House of Representative in 1954 on a non-party basis, at age 22. In 1957, he emerged as president of the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC), which formed an alliance with the Action Group, the dominant South West party.
He was reelected in 1959
After General Gowon took charge in August 1966, Tarka was appointed Federal Commissioner of Transport and then of Communications, resigning in 1974 after allegations of corruption from a fellow-Tiv named Godwin Daboh were published.
Tarka aligned with northern politicians to form the National Party of Nigeria, on which platform he unsuccessfully competed in the Presidential elections. He was elected Senator for Benue East in 1979, and was appointed chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation, a position he held when he died on 30 March 1980, aged 48
This is not as popular as the Ojukwu story which most people know.
Ojukwu took to exile after the war, and also endured incarceration, even though, like Tarka, he was not convicted.
So, why is the name of the most generally accepted Igbo leader, unarguably the first gradute (actually Masters Degree) to join the Nigerian Army. The first indigenous quarter-master General of the Nigerian etc, missing in the list if really “They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details”??