By Akinwale Akintunde
The Ojukwu family will Tuesday celebrate the life and times of Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu, who died on September 13, 1966 at Nkalagu after a heart attack.
Odumegwu Ojukwu, a businessman from Obiuno Umudim, Nnewi, was the first and founding President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange as well as Chairman of the defunct African Continental Bank (ACB).
He was also Chairman and member of the board of directors of some of Nigeria’s most profitable companies such as Shell Oil Nigeria Limited, Guinness Nigeria Limited, Nigerian National Shipping Lines, Nigerian Cement Factory, Nigerian Coal Corporation, Costain West Africa Limited, John Holt, and Nigeria Marketing Board, among others.
A statement by one of the grandsons, Dr. Ike Ojukwu, said part of the activities to mark the 50th anniversary include a lecture, charity visits and donations.
Ike also said a memorial hospital building in honour of his grandfather would commence within a year.
“We also intend to award annual prizes for the best graduating student in Business Administration and Estate Management at UNEC.
“We have had to scale things down because of the current state of the economy and security,” he said.
Speaking on the insinuations in some quarters that the wealth of his grandfather was not well-managed, Ike maintained that the property were well-managed despite the civil war.
“You cannot mismanage what you do not have.
There was a civil war, a failed/foiled attempt to sell off, then a struggle to secure and release the assets from the government, followed by a protracted, expensive legal war with bandits. I give God thanks and some people a lot of credit for making sure there is anything left to talk about,” he stated.
Ike also dismissed insinuations that the Ojukwu family are lazy people that’s why they are fighting over their late grandfather’s property.
According to him, “Ojukwu family are not lazy but hard working people. I have heard that before, usually from jobless buffoons. I personally have worked for 38 years, 34 of them as a doctor. I am retired. You can lecture me when you have clocked the same.
“It is only a castrated nincompoop that would sit on their filthy bottom, cross hands and watch vermin (both within and without the family) attempt to seize what a man (Sir Odumegwu Ojukwu) toiled so hard and sacrificed so much to achieve.
“If armed robbers enter your house and you tackle them, if some loafer describes you as ‘fighting for property’ you will be justified to give that individual a dirty slap.
“You may be right in a way though, while the eldest son, Prof. Joseph Ojukwu, worked tirelessly as a surgeon for over 60 years.
“The family, estate, company etc., there may be up to 20 cases in court. Obviously one has to have respect for the courts especially with ongoing cases but the majority of our cases involve jobless opportunists. Their claims are not valid in my humble opinion, unfortunately justice could be faster and less expensive. One really feels for the dependants.
“Mind you, my grandfather never hesitated to sue when he felt the justification,” Ike stated.