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Hi there!

I'm Margaret, a female traveller from Nigeria, and welcome to my personal blog , TheAjalaBug.com.

Here, I document my adventures in travel and life experiences generally. Hope you get inspired!

The infamous Ojukwu bunker | My historical quest in Abia state (Part 2/2)

The infamous Ojukwu bunker | My historical quest in Abia state (Part 2/2)

"For unity to be meaningful it has to be creative, not the unity of Jonah in the whale but the unity of holy matrimony. The first can only lead to defecation, the second to procreation."  Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu (the Ikemba Nnewi).

The above quote by the late military leader, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, who spearheaded the unsuccessful takeover by Biafra from 1967 to 1970, sheds a bit of light 'on the why' of the past. Okay away from there and back to my travel story...

After my visit at the war museum, I stopped at the infamous Ojukwu bunker and the entrance fee was N500. The bunker was the hide out for the Ojukwu and his kinsmen during the civil war and all communications via Radio Biafra all took place in the bunker. 

The bunker is about 30 feet deep and was difficult for the opposition to easily locate. It has staircase leading to the meeting room where discussions were held and the coup was planned. There's a living room, bedroom and kitchen (like a proper apartment underground). There is also a very dark area where captured soldiers were detained and the bunker also has two stairways for entrance and exit (I will try to upload the video of the bunker soonest).

You would expect the bunker to be hot right?!, but no. It is fairly airy because the genius minds that built it put holes on the corridor with a metal pole running to the surface of the ground above that draws air deep down to the bunker, leaving the place well ventilated.

All through the civil war Ojukwu fought tirelessly to keep Biafra from being defeated. With supply lines cut, millions of Biafrans slowly starved to death. After the civil war ended in 1970, the leader of the Biafra lived in voluntary exile. This was after the war claimed the lives of over 3 million people. The fearless and famous General Ojukwu died in 2011.. 

"Was the course worth the lost of 3 million people? Has Nigeria learnt from this sad chapter in the nation building process? Has the huge cost of this war made the nation value the need for peace and dialogue as the best method of conflict resolution?". While we wait for your response, see some pictures below.

  The entrance

The entrance

  T  he building where the Ojukwu bunker resides was donated by the Late Michael Okpara

The building where the Ojukwu bunker resides was donated by the Late Michael Okpara

  Late Michael Okpara   and  Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu

Late Michael Okpara  and  Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu

  Entrance to the bunker at the back of the house

Entrance to the bunker at the back of the house

  The stairways

The stairways

  Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu was a genius and the boldest Nigerian I have ever read or heard about

Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu was a genius and the boldest Nigerian I have ever read or heard about

Final thoughts

I am still mad with my history teacher but thankful for my parents who at everytime available were checking what we knew and filling the gap somehow. This remains one of my best trips in 2017. I know it was not a slay type of trip but I learnt so much. No doubt that Abia state is an interesting place to visit. Please read Part 1 to get a complete picture of the state.

Areas for improvement

- Like the Awolowo museum, the personal effects of Ojukwu used during the war can be brought to the bunker to give a more vivid experience 

- Like the Calabar slave museum, video and audio clips of the war can be included in the experience and played for visitors to travel in time.

- The Biafran currency and everything that symbolises the pains of the past can be introduced as part of the experience when visiting the bunker.

- The entire compound can be renovated and the bunker properly lite up. 

As usual, thanks for reading. Have you ever gone on an historical tour? Are you from Abia state or have you visited these places? Please do share your thoughts and experience with us.

Margaret.

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The national war museum | My historical quest in Abia state (Part 1/2)

The national war museum | My historical quest in Abia state (Part 1/2)