He was a Lieutenant Colonel in the NigerianArmy and was instructed by a meeting of customary chiefs in the Eastern region of Nigeria, held at Umuhia, to declare independence under the name of Biafra. He agreed to lead the new country which was the first nation in West Africa to be formed by Africans. Basically, this conflict was caused by a pogrom in the Moslem Northern Region against Christian and AnimistIbos from the Eastern region. The Northerners were unhappy that the Sardauna of Sokoto, the leader of the Northern region and Nigerian Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa had been killed in the coup of January 16, 1966, which was carried out by an Ibo lieutenant, and that no Ibo leaders had been killed. General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, who commandeered the coup straight away, was also an Igbo. Ironsi appointed Ojukwu as military leader in the Eastern Region.
Colonel Ojukwu, a very competent commander, survived the war. After a decade in exile, he was invited to return to Nigeria by PresidentAlhaji Shehu Shagari in 1980. He joined Shagari's National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and contested the 1983 election for the Senate, but was defeated. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of Nigeria in the 2003 election. He claimed to have "won" the election, despite garnering only 3.3 percent of the vote, and filed a court challenge against what he said was the "massive fraud" that allegedly denied him the presidency.
Ojukwu's father did not accept that choice and when he applied to serve in the Nigeria Army, Louis Ojukwu received a phone call from the Governor General of Nigeria, Sir Macpherson, informing Louis of what his son was up to.
Ironsi appointed Ojukwu as military leader in the heavily Igbo populated Eastern Region of Nigeria.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, (Born 1933) a Lt. Col in the Nigerian Army, was instructed by a meeting of customary chiefs in the Eastern region of Nigeria, held at Umuhia, to declare Independence under the name Biafra.
Ojukwu as military leader in the Eastern Region.
Colonel Ojukwu, a very competent commander survived the war and returned to Nigeria where he lives now.
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