Ojukwu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu

Ojukwu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu

(cho͞ok'wo͞oāmā`kä ōdo͞omāg`wä ōjo͞ok`wä), 1933–2011, Nigerian general and secessionist. Of Igbo background, he joined (1957) the Nigerian army and rose to become (1966–67) military governor of E Nigeria. That region seceded (1967) from Nigeria as the Republic of BiafraBiafra, Republic of,
secessionist state of W Africa, in existence from May 30, 1967, to Jan. 15, 1970. At the outset Biafra comprised, roughly, the East-Central, South-Eastern, and Rivers states of the Federation of Nigeria, where the Igbo people predominated.
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, with Ojukwu as head of state. He held office during the bloody war (1967–70) between Biafra and Nigeria and then went into exile in Côte d'Ivoire upon Biafra's defeat. Pardoned, he returned to Nigeria in 1982 but was imprisoned for a time after the military coup in 1983. He was an unsuccessful candidate for president in 2003 and 2007.
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