6 mistakes Ojukwu made during Biafra war

On Tuesday, May 30, the pro-Biafra people carried out a sit-home exercise in remembrance of the heroes and heroines of Biafra.

Ojukwu is a name that rings a bell when it comes to Biafra and Nigerian history. He is heralded as the veteran who spearheaded the attempted secession of the Igbo people.

But beyond the heroic stories that have been heard about Ojukwu, there are certain bad decisions he took during the war. Below are the 6 major mistakes Ojukwu made during the Biafra war.

1. Nzeogwu’s death

Nzogwu the Great! People rumoured that he was afraid Nzeogwu will challenge his authority after the war. Nzogwu was defined as a man who would stop at nothing to ensure that those in power do not abuse it.

2. Dethroning generals

The stories have been told of how Ojukwu dethroned his generals (because they tried to advise him) and made civilians his war generals! eg. Colonel Achuzia.

3. Going into battle without solid plans

It is said that Ojukwu was in the habit of not planning his battles, he just fought with emotion.

There are reports that everyone who tried to advise him got deposed and thrown into jail.

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A biafran high ranking officer once narrated in his book that he drove from Enugu to the war front at abakaliki only to discover that Biafran soldiers who were droped by Ojukwu and were facing the Nigerian superior military might punishment didnt even dig trenches.

This he said prevented the Nigerian tanks from over running the Biafrans on the very first day of battle!

Ojukwu did not plan the preparation of the war! He just started fighting with the available resources.

He should have got big countries like America and Britain to support Biafra (atleast in exchange of some oil).

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Gowon for instance agreed with Cameroun not to let Biafrans get weapon supplies from the camerounian border in exchange for the Bakassi peninsula. This alone made the Biafran resistance very miserable.

4. Child-Soldiers

When the men had been killed, Ojukwu started ‘arming’ children and using them as his soldiers for battle! A development that could have been seen as a war crime.

5. Porters

Biafran medics never had stretchers from day one, they were called porters because they were often made up of four men who would carry the wounded on their head and run to the rear of the battle field.

This was to get worse in the third year of the war as Biafran soldiers left their wounded and fled battle fields!

6. Truce

General Ojukwu should have more intelligently accepted a truce a year or two before the end of the war when men like Zik, Akanu Ibiam and a host of others, advised him it was impossible to win the war.

He Refused to Quit the war after the first year on seeing that the Igbos cant win.

When the war became so bitter and the Biafran weapons got finished, he would load hundreds of young men into trailers and arm them with clubs and machetes and dump them at the war front.

He would tell the young men that ‘hausas’ are fools. ‘Kill them all’ .

The nigerian war tank will just lower its 50s and open fire on ‘unarmed’ biafran soldiers in the war front! There is no doubt that Ojukwu was a Biafra patriot and a warrior of great courage.

He gave his all to the war, surviving by the whiskers.However, like we all humans, we have our flaws, and history is recorded so that mistakes of the past are not repeated.


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