(NNEWI, Nigeria) — Thousands of mourners including politicians attended the funeral of the former leader of the Republic of Biafra in Nigeria.
Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, 78, died in the United Kingdom last year after a long illness. The leader declared independence in 1967, of the oil rich southeastern region inhabited by the Igbo people, in an attempt to secede from the rest of the country.
After three years of civil war and blockades which crippled Biafra resulting in at least a million dead, Biafrans surrendered. Ojukwu went into exile for a decade before returning after receiving a full pardon.
Among the attendees at Ojukwu’s funeral were Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, Nobel Poet laureate Wole Soyinka and Ghana’s former President Jerry Rawlings as well as local politicians, reports BBC News.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Holly Yan and Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN Newswire
Rafael Romo and Patrick Gillespie, CNN