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Ejike Anyaduba

Before the fatal campaign he mounted at Obollo Eke that cost him his life Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu was not known to be officially assigned troops in the Biafran army.

The Biafran High Command was accused of keeping him out of action because of jealousy. 

Dismissing that as a rumour bruited by folks not bred to any trade, Dim Chukwuemeka  Odumegwu Ojukwu said he had no reason to be jealous of Nzeogwu. He adduced three reasons why that was not possible. 

One, the headship of Biafra was firmly in his hand and there was no contest.

Two,  most Biafran army commanders were uncomfortable fighting within range of Nzeogwu's operation. He gave an example of how a certain Col Bassey fled his command post on hearing that Nzeogwu was coming to his base.

Three and perhaps the greatest of the reasons was that Tom Biggar his(Ojukwu's) half brother  died in the fatal campaign mounted at Obollo Eke by the late Nzeogwu. No man would lend his brother to an "enemy" for such a campaign.

Brigadier Emmanuel Sotomi who was commanding the federal forces fighting on the flank where Nzeogwu died when asked what he knew about Nzeogwu's death could not say much. 

He said Nzeogwu possibly fell to the mines laid by his troops and that when captured he asked his captors to take him to their commander Emmanuel.  Sotomi said that when he was brought to him he had already lost too much blood and his speech was incoherent.  He died soon after.

His body was taken by the federal forces and buried with full military honour  in Kaduna.

It is well to remember that Nzeogwu was against the war and was not keen on fighting on the side of Biafra. Perhaps the circumstance of his imprisonment, which was in the East, as was the case with others like Major Wale Ademoyega, compelled his choice in the unfortunate war.

The circumstance of his death will continue to provoke interest in Nigerians.

Ejike Anyaduba

writes from Abatete

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