Saturday 30 July 2016

Ojukwu and Ifeajuna: A Final Encounter

Interesting film depiction of a fictional meeting between Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra and Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, who was one of the ringleaders of the first army mutiny in Nigeria.

Ifeajuna had been the first Black African to win a Commonwealth gold medal at the Vancouver Games of 1954. Like Ojukwu, he was a university graduate who joined the army when an army career was not one of first choice for graduates.

After the failure of the mutiny of January 1966, he escaped to Ghana and stayed there under the protection of Kwame Nkrumah until Nkrumah’s overthrow. An Igbo, he went to Biafra where he became an officer, but became embroiled in an intrigue which the the Biafran authorities interpreted as treason.

The film is set on the eve of his execution by firing squad in September 1967.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2016).

Adeyinka Makinde is a London-based writer.

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