When am on the road in Nigeria and happen to go through a Nigerian Army checkpoint, a soldier almost always pull me out just to have a chat. They think I must be one of Ojukwu’s sons, they tell me I have a striking resemblance to him and at the end of our chat they always seem unconvinced that an not related to him. They believe I have the same confident attitude of Ojukwu as a young soldier. A compliment which I take with a big head.
To say the least I can’t help but feel big headed after I was given a special escort from the outskirts of Yola to the Ribadu family home in Yola town. Look in these guys you have the most powerful and intelligent army in Africa, keeping the peace in Somalia, Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad, Congo, East Timor, Yugoslavia…
Nigerian Army foreign policy in the 70’s and 80’s was to end aparthied in South Africa also playing a significant role in the independence of Zimbabwe (formally Rhodesia), Namibia with Nigeria making financial contributions to liberation movements in South Africa and the front line states of Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe which were harassed constantly by South Africa.