Members of Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Tuesday said Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu’s claims that they neither visited her husband, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, while he was on sickbed in London nor paid their condolence over his demise were untrue .
Bianca, during a condolence call on her by members of the Conference of Democratic Scholars and Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Monday, faulted the apex Igbo body on the level of interest shown during the period of illness and the death of the ex-Biafra warlord.
The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which, however, spoke through the National Publicity Secretary, Ralph Ndigwe, said Bianca’s comments were regrettable. It added that some people were deliberately misinforming her.
According to Ndigwe, he visited Ojukwu in London on three occasions and on each visit, he delivered Ohanaeze’s get-well message to him.
He said it was not true that the group did not pay condolence visit to Ojukwu’s family as claimed by Bianca.
He said, “Ohanaeze paid a condolence visit to Ojukwu’s home at Nnewi, Anambra State and commiserated with the entire community and his family in particular as demanded by Igbo custom and tradition.”
The Ohanaeze spokesman said in Igbo tradition, when a man dies, his widow would be in the village – receiving sympathisers.
He explained that when Ohanaeze learnt about Ojukwu’s demise and paid condolence visit to Nnewi few days after, its team was told that Bianca was still in London.
He said, “I went to London three times while Ojukwu was in hospital and on each occasion, the President-General, Ambassador Ralph Uwaechue, directed me to go and visit him on behalf of Ohanaeze.
“I personally spoke to Ojukwu on each occasion I visited and told him that I was sent by the President General. When he (Uwaechue) learnt of his demise, we went to Nnewi to see the Nzuko Ora Nnewi (Nnewi town union) and the Ojukwu family as demanded by Igbo tradition. We expected that Bianca would be at home, but we were told that she was still in London.
“Later, when on one occasion, I met Emeka Ojukwu (Junior) on the way and he told me that Bianca is back in Enugu, I personally went there to see her but I was told that she was sleeping. I dropped my card.”
Meanwhile, the leadership of Ohanaeze has issued a communiqué to state its position on the matter.
The communiqué reads in parts, “At the time it came to its knowledge through the media that our respected leader had gone to London for medical attention, Ohanaeze Ndigbo kept discrete and regular contact with His Excellency, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, who spearheaded efforts to support and monitor his progress at the Wellington Hospital in London. He kept Ohanaeze well informed on developments in that regard.”