Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu died last November, three weeks after his 78th birthday. He returns to mother earth on Saturday, March 3, after month-long obsequies. In death, Ojukwu remains as controversial as ever, for his name conjures up different images to different people. Since he caught national attention as leader of the Igbo during the Nigerian civil war, Ojukwu was one man that could not be ignored. You either love him or hate him. While many vilify him for leading the Igbo secession bid in 1967 that led to a 30-month civil war, others praise him for doing the bidding of his people. The latter argue that if he had refused, somebody else would have stepped into his shoes. Many agree, however, that the essence of the Ojukwu persona was his fight for justice, be it for the Igbo man or any other Nigerian. The irony of these times though is that the justice he wanted for his people from the Nigerian state over 40 years ago remains illusory. And the Igbo are not the only ones clamouring for justice now. Thus the issue of the national question remains unresolved. In the wake of his death last year, the cover story of the magazine’s December 12, 2011 edition was on what legacy Ojukwu left behind for Nigeria. This week the Editorial Board decided to look at the shoes Ojukwu left behind as Igbo leader and who will likely succeed him, especially with the declaration by Ralph Uwazurike that Ojukwu was the Jesus of his people. That is the cover story in this edition. A team led by Tony Manuaka, associate editor, handled the story.
You will equally find Manuaka at work in the BROAD STREET Journal section of the magazine. The lead story of that section is an interview he had with Mohammed Yunusa, managing director of Dunlop. Since the company shut down its manufacturing plants in 2008, it has become a trading outfit, importing tyres from South Africa. While thousands of Nigerians lost their jobs as a result of the closure, the Nigerian economy has created hundreds of jobs in the same sector not only in South Africa but also in many other countries from where tyres are imported into the country. More than three years after shutting down, however, there is good news. Dunlop is on its way back. Find out in the interview the behind-the-scene moves and who is making them.