Ojukwu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu

Ojukwu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu cho͞okˌwo͞oāmāˈkä ōdo͞omāgˈwä ōjo͞okˈwä [key], 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 Biafra, 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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