Grand Commander Award Recipient


On Wednesday March 9, 2022, His Excellency Gov Sir Willie Obiano honored and conferred on High Chief (Mrs.) Oyibo Ekwulo Odinamadu the Grand Commander Medal for her outstanding service both Nationally and Internationally.

Service to Community (Relief effort during the Nigeria-Biafra War)

Ugobueze, an accolade which means *Eagle is the king of all birds* is the name which admirers and associates refer or call Chief Mrs. Oyibo Odinamadu, MON, KSC, JP etc. 

She was a humane woman who would sacrifice everything at her disposal to aid and see that the lot of downtrodden is improved. 

Some of the feat she achieved  are as follows;

(1)    At the peak of the Biafra war, kwashiorkor was ravaging the kids of the new found Biafra. The sight of dying kids was unbearable to her which made her in agreement with the Biafran government, she went to the UN General Assembly with some kids afflicted with Kwashiorkor. This singular input made the world and Africa to hear and commence the lifting of kwashiorkor kids to Gabon and she was appointed to chair the distribution of relief materials to the starving Biafrans during the war. The rest is better imagined.

(2)  She served as a committee member of the Unity Party of Nigeria, which saw her serve as an adviser to Prof Ambrose Ali, FAS, the second Republic governor of Old Bendel state, (now Delta and Edo states of Nigeria). She, in that capacity saw to the establishment of Bendel State University Ekpoma, she served as the member of the Governing Council of the University. This was to make education affordable to the public who may be estopped from getting the University education owing to the inglorious quota system of the federal government. This was after she had, not minding that she was a member of Unity Party of Nigeria worked with Hon, Engr Roy Umenyi, (Deputy Governor), Engr Akpati and Hon Charles C. Iwobi  the Commissioner for  commerce & Industry and Chief Chukwuma Okoye, the honorable Commissioner for Education, all under Chief Jim Nwobodo to establish Anambra state University of Technology, Enugu which birthed Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Enugu State University and Ebonyi state University. 

(3)  She served as Chairman Rural Electrification Board, under the Government of Col. Rob Akonobi of Old Anambra State. She was in the position and facilitated the electrification or energization of Awkuzu town with the APU Cameroon branch who were lately joined by the APU government of Mgbadabuanu/Lagos branch under the captainship of Late High Chief Iganatius Ojemeni, Akunetigbu Ilo, Akajiani Awkuzu.

Written by Mbazulike Akwuba.




Umu Chineke-ei!…….E-i-i-i!

Ndi Otu Christ-ei!.....E-i-i!

Ndi Uko-Chukwu ma-nma!.........I’so kwa!

Ndi Nne ma nma……………………..I’so kwa!

Ndi Nna ma nma!.........................I’so kwa!

Igbo-abuna-Igbo………………………….ma nma!....I’so kwa!

Kene-nu Jehova n’ihi na O’di nma-o!

N’ihi na rue mgbe ebigh-ebi ka ebere Ya di!

INTRODUCTORY CHORUS: Oh! Mothers! Oh! Mothers!...


Oh! God; open thou our eyes and mind, that we may behold, the wondrous things, out of thy laws, so to speak and meditate on them, to the glory of thy Holy Name, through the precious and mighty Name of our Lord, Savior, Advocate and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen!

3. OBSERVE ONE MINUTE SILENCE: In the indelible memories of our mothers; Who have answered to the higher call; To return to the Lord;


PRAYER AT THE END: May the souls of our mothers; and the souls of all the faithful departed; through the mercy of God; Have eternal rest with the Lord. Amen!

CHORUS: “Obu gini - k’anyi g’eyi - mgb’anyi g’ano - na mbala Enu-igwe….”




5-i. The observance of MOTHERS DAY started in Africa – in Ancient Egypt, which s the earliest cradle of civilization. It started with the spiritual honoring of their goddess Isis, whom they revered as the Mother of Kings – the mother of Pharaohs.

5-iii.. In the Roman Empire, when most of the empire had became Christian, under Emperor Constantine, Christians started to observe the fourth Sunday in Lent, in honor of the Church in which they were baptized. The Church was regarded as their Mother Church. They also used the day to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus. And this turned the occasion into that of an observance for human mothers.

5-v. The observance to honor mothers started in England in the 1600’s, as a Mothering Day and then changed to Mothering Sunday, on the 4th Sunday of Lent. The British missionaries carried the observance to all the places that England colonized, including Nigeria.


Mothers Day has become synonymous with Mothers Sundayin the USA. Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948), who was extremely attached to her mother, Mrs Anna Reese Jarvis, is credited with originating the observance of Mother's Day or Mothers Sunday in the United States of America, though it was initially in honor of her mother.

6-i. The First Mother's Day observance was a Church service honoring Mrs. Anna Reese Jarvis on May 10, 1908. The United States congress approved Mother’s Day in 1914, and designated it for the second Sunday in May.

6-ii. Mothering Sunday in the Anglican Church of Nigeria

Mothering Sunday resonates very well in the Anglican Church of Nigeria, on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It is meant to offers a break in the season of fasting, between Ash Wednesday and Easter for Christians. The Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF), and the Children’s Ministry entertain Mothers with some drama, and distribute gifts to the mothers.

Mothering Sunday is not a day for serving breakfast to mothers in bed, or for taking them out to a good Restaurant and giving them a really good treat. It is for mothers to extend mothering to as many people as possible, by providing a lot of food and other refreshments, for invited and uninvited guests, who may or may not bring presents.

The mothers of the Anglican Igbo Ministry, Dallas, promise you a taste of that extension of mothering, immediately after this Worship-Service, at the Fellowship Hall. Please, stay for it; enjoy it; and then, come again!

CHORUS: Nne n’aso! Nne n’aso ka ofe egwusi!...


7-i. As Saint Paul said, we should give honor, in various ways, to whom it is due. We should mostly give the honor of love – out of the abundance of our hearts.

7-ii. An outstanding example of honor, love and respect to be given, in the Holy Bible, is the 5th commandment: “Honor your father and your mother…” The example is not a request but a command. God requires us to honor our parents, who have bestowed immeasurable goodness - of life, love, care and education - upon us.

In return for that goodness, one should pay the parents with love, high honor and deep respect. My mother used to say that the debt children owe their mothers is not only that of mother’s milk, but includes sleepless nights, stress and nursing when they are sick, soiling her clothes, going with little food so that the children will have enough. These acts are not quantifiable. They are debts that can never be fully paid. .

7-iv. In the Psalm for this Mothers Sunday, the Psalmist says: “How shall I repay the LORD, for all the good things He has done for me?” I believe that all of us are saying the same thing about our mothers today. We have prayed for mothers.

CHORUS: Ewo! Nne-mu-o! Agam eji gini we kene Mama-mu-o!...”

7-v. Jesus honored the lowly, the weak, the widowed, the hurt, the sick, and the rejected by lifting them up in love, and showing compassion on them. When these attributes are extended they, invariably, lead to a return in kind.



8-i.a) This event took place in B.C. 1312. Due to famine in the land of Judea, Naomi migrated with her husband and two sons to the land of Moab. The two sons married Moabite women. Her husband – Elimelech and the two sons died in Moab. Naomi, upon hearing that the famine in Judea had subsided, returned to Judea with her two daughters in-law - Orpah and Ruth. Being that her two sons had died, Naomi entreated her two daughters in –law to return to their mothers and their people.

8-i.b) It was the phenomenal kindness of Naomi to Ruth and Orpah, that made them not to want to leave her, even though their husbands have died, and they had no children. They cried bitterly at the thought of leaving such a kind and loving mother in-law. But after a while, Orpah kissed her mother in-law goodbye, and left.

8-i.c) But Ruth, compelled by her deeper love and commitment , also due to her destiny that the Messiah will come from her lineage, clung desperately to her mother in-law. She refused to go, under any circumstance, and responded to her mother in-law’s pressures, in Ruth 1: 15, as follows: “Do not press me to leave you, or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go! Where you lodge, I will lodge! Your people shall be my people! And your God will be my God! Where you die, I will die! There I will be buried! May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if ever death parts me from you!”

8-i.d) The actions of Ruth are a model for most women today, who see great adversaries in their mothers in-law, sisters in-law, and daughters in-law. How many of us women feel this way towards our sisters in-law, who are married into our paternal families? How many of us are intent on being unifiers rather than polarizers?


9-i.a) Jesus recognized and honored women greatly, especially by showing Himself first to a woman, whom He also called by her name. He immediately made her the First Apostle by sending her on an errand – the very first errand – on which the Risen Christ sent anyone - to announce the Good News to the world.

He sent Mary to carry the Message of His Resurrection to the cowardly and cowering Eleven Men Disciples, who were hiding in the Upper Room – the Room of the Last Supper. She carried out this duty very well. Then Peter and John followed her, to see the Tomb for themselves.

9-ii. But as it turned out, it was all of the Eleven, including Simon Peter, who denied Jesus thrice before the cock crew twice. And Saul of Tarsus, who was a pathological persecutor of Christians, and who practically presided over the stoning to death of Stephen - the first Christian martyr. But he received the miraculous Conversion, on his way to Damascus, to continue his persecution of Christians, after 44 years of the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus.

Rather than acknowledge Mary Magdalene for her love, devotion and commitment for the Lord, and being the one that brought the Good News to the world, the Early Church denigrated her; and labeled her with such names as a prostitute, Jesus’ wife, and writer of the Gnostic Gospel of Mary;

It was only in the past forty years, that we have the facts released that her identification as a prostitute was false.

9-iv. In his reign, Pope John Paul II who reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City for almost 27 years, made over one hundred apologies, including the ones to Galileo, women, and so many others. The apology to women was entitled:

"Memory and reconciliation: The Church and faults of the past.” On 10th July 1995, “in a letter to every woman", he also extended a request for forgiveness. But there was no mention of Repentance and Restitution to former glory!

We are happy to see and to say that the foregoing unfair treatment, given to Mary Magdalene and women by the Church, did not kill women’s interest and spirit in the Church.


The present Pope should know that women need and expect restitution for the apologies made by his predecessor in-office. Women all over the world demand commensurate restitutions now – in the Churches, and in the societies, all over the world – in all the areas, in which their rights have been “denied, violated, infringed, “in the historical denigration of women”.

It is only such restitutions that will give meaning to the apologies. Pope Benedict XVI, would have written his name in letters of gold, studded with diamond, if he would render appropriate Repentance and Restitutions to women and all the others, to whom his predecessor in-office apologized.


10-i.a) St. Paul charged husbands and wives to: “Be subject to one another out of reverence to Christ…Just as Christ does for His Church, because we are members of His body… Eph. 5: 21-33.

10-i.b) To my mind, this mutual action of subjection means reciprocal attention of love, honor and respect - no longer that of a maid-servant obeying her master. By the way: How many men and women are wearing their wedding rings?

10-i.c) St. Paul emphasized in his Epistle to the Romans, in Rm. 13:7, when he said: “Render, therefore, to all - not to some or just some select individuals - their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom is due; fear to whom fear is due; and honor to whom honor is due.”


11-i.a) We honor our children – your child, my child, every child around us - by teaching them what they should know. In our culture, the principle of raising children is: Spoil the rod and spare the child. But in this culture it is the opposite: Spare the rod and spoil the child. This is called: Recognizing the rights of the child.

Yes, children have rights to be recognized and respected, but the rights of the parents to raise the child properly supersede those of the children. In Igbo culture, there is an adage which says: I’welu aka nni tie nwata ife, I’welu aka ekpe dokpuruta ya, ka I’we gugua ya, nye kwa ya ndum-odu. This supports the right of the parents to spank a child, so as to teach him/her a good lesson in good behavior and discipline. But also, after that, to draw the child to his/her bosom, to console and explain things to the child. This is in the teaching and learning process.

11-ib. However, the kind of the maltreatment and incest that children everywhere suffer, nowadays, both in our culture and in the Western culture, at the hands of their parents, pedophiles and child abductors, is really pathetic. For information about the situation in Nigeria, a search of: UNHEARD VOICES – Report by AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, NIGERIA, on the Internet will shock you. Such are the cases for which Christian parents should watch out, guard against, stop, and report to the appropriate authorities.

11-i.c) Christian parents should strive to make a difference in the lives of their children, by teaching them the Golden Rule, mostly by example.

d). It is imperative that parents should teach their children the Ten Commandments, and to lay emphasis on the 5th Commandment, which is given to children, to honor their parents, in Ex. 20:12 and Eph. 6:2. They should learn that God promises to bless the person who obeys this Commandment.

g). Children – both boys and girls - should be taught that all human beings – male and female – are created equal; to develop the right attitude to work; to learn to cook; and to do household chores;

h) Children should be taught how to love and honor Jesus, which is: to trust and obey Jesus, and to know that Jesus loves them, when they are good. There is a little chorus we were taught, as little children, in Monday Catechism Class:

CHORUS: “Trust and Obey; For there is no other way , to be happy in Jesus; but to trust and obey”!

12. We will have a Thanksgiving by Mothers, after the General Offertory. The Mothers of the Anglican Igbo Ministry would want to:

i. Set up Sunday School for children during the monthly Worship-Service, so as not to distract mothers from the Worship Service;

ii. Procure the proper Anglican Worship Books – The Ancient and Modern and the Book of Common Prayer.

We ask everybody, please, to join us and to give us good support. Our good God will not fail to replenish your bounty, many folds.


Oh! Lord, I thank You for giving me the words to speak; making them understandable to the minds of the listeners; rendering our words and thoughts acceptable in your sight, and making them useful in our lives, to the glory of Your Holy Name? Amen!


Umu Chineke-ei!…….E-i-i-i!

Ndi Otu Christ-ei!.....E-i-i!

Ndi Uko-Chukwu ma-nma!.........I’so kwa!

Ndi Nne ma nma……………………..I’so kwa!

Ndi Nna ma nma!.........................I’so kwa!

Anglican Youth Fellowship (AYF)…ma nma!.....I’so kwa!

Igbo-abuna-Igbo………………………….ma nma!....I’so kwa!

Kene-nu Jehova n’ihi na O’di nma-o!

N’ihi na rue mgbe ebigh-ebi ka ebere Ya di!

CHORUS: Nwam cheta mu-o!...





About eight months ago fate beckoned on me to take up the mantle of leadership from our late leader, President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua and to honour his memory by striving to sustain the dreams that we all shared with him for a vibrant Peoples Democratic Party and a prosperous and peaceful nation.

Last September I declared my interest to seek the nomination of our party to contest for the Presidency of our great country. I asked for your support so that together with Vice President Namadi Sambo and with your continued goodwill, we will secure a fresh mandate to confront the many challenges that are before our nation. I asked for your trust so that we can continue to expand the political space, promote greater democratic culture and unite our nation for rapid progress and speedy transformation.

In the past months, within our party and around the nation, we have witnessed a campaign of unusual intensity within an unconstrained political space and today the Peoples Democratic Party has spoken with one strong voice.

It is with great humility that I accept the monumental mandate which you have handed over to me as the Presidential flag bearer of our great party. This mandate is unique as it makes a decisive statement in the history of our great nation. This statement is that our people have chosen the unity of our country above all other considerations. It is a quantum leap into the great ideals to hold our great nation together. I promise all Nigerians that I will within my powers not disappoint this umbrella of unity you have entrusted on me today. I will carry this banner to all the corners of our great country to make sure that the essence of this unity is not lost on our people.

We thank God for making this day possible.
I thank all the delegates to this convention for the confidence you have reposed in me. I assure you that I will never let you down. I also thank all the members of our great party across the country for the role you have all played in influencing the choice that have been made by the fourth Presidential Nomination Convention of this party. I thank you all.

I am very grateful to the DG of my campaign team Alhaji Dalhatu Sarki Tafida and members of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organization for the great work that has been done to convert the will of the Nigerian people into delegates’ votes.
I thank the convention organizing committee for organizing a secure, transparent, free and fair convention.

Let me specially acknowledge the effort of my hard working and amiable Vice President, Architect Muhammed Namadi Sambo, a strong, reliable and trusted ally. I hereby reaffirm Architect Muhammed Namadi Sambo as my running mate for the forth coming Presidential election.

This victory is not for me alone. It is not just for Sambo and our supporters in PDP. It is a victory for PDP members and indeed all Nigerians because it takes us one step closer to the Nigerian dream of national transformation.

Let me very respectfully pay special tribute to Mrs Sara Jubril and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who all fought gallantly. I believe that the very lively presidential primary has prepared the Vice President and I and indeed the entire party for the forthcoming general election. I want to welcome Mrs Jubril and his Excellency Alhaji Abubakar on board so that together we can build a Nigeria of our collective interest. A Nigeria where ideas guide our dreams for a greater nation.

This is the time for the party to move forward in unity to bring this country under the PDP banner and gain the electoral victory that we need to better serve our nation.

This country has many challenges and our polity certainly needs reform. Our economy needs to be strengthened, opportunities need to be spread and security needs to be improved. Only a national party can lead us through the national transformation Nigeria needs. Today, that national party is our party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

These are uncommon times in the history of this country. The challenges that confront this country are enormous but the opportunities available to us are even more. It is our responsibility as the ruling party of this great country to listen to Nigerians and move in the direction that the people expect us to go.
Nigerians want peace and security and we are determine to provide it.
Our party must convince Nigerians that we have a plan for national security and that we can cover the entire country in that plan.

We are shedding the politics and corruption of the past that has held us down for too long and have formulated the strategy and team to transform Nigeria. It won’t always be easy, but our momentum is strong and our vision for Nigeria is clear: through an improved power sector, stronger educational system, better security, and policies that promote Nigerian business development and jobs. Nigeria will play big globally as we approach the year 2020.

Nigeria has the talent, skill, determination and passion to reach this ambitious - but achievable - goal. And our administration led by the Peoples Democratic Party has the right priorities and strategy to make it happen.

Let us seek the Nigerian peoples mandate together as a united party and pursue the affairs of good governance for the next four years. This is more than a set of policies or new ideas - it is about all Nigerians joining hands to turn the page.
Together, all party members, activists and people of Nigeria can work to win the forth- coming elections at all levels.

I Thank you all and God bless you


1. Child Marriage and Forced Marriage

Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls Child Marriage and Forced Marriage

“When I was 10 my parents arranged for me to marry in the forest. They pretended it was just a party. But it was a wedding and they sent me away. My mother never told me I was going to be married. They came and took me by force. I cried but it didn't make any difference. Child Bride aged 10.”

2. What is child marriage?

i. Child/Early marriage refers to any marriage of a child younger than 18 years old, in accordance to Article 1 of the Convention on the Right of the Child. While child marriage affects both sexes, girls are disproportionately affected as they are the majority of the victims. Their overall development is compromised, leaving them socially isolated with little education, skills and opportunities for employment and self-realisation. This leaves child brides more vulnerable to poverty, a consequence of child marriage as well as a cause.

ii. Child marriage is now widely recognised as a violation of children's rights, a direct form of discrimination against the girl child who as a result of the practice is often deprived of her basic rights to health, education, development and equality. Tradition, religion and poverty continue to fuel the practice of child marriage, despite its strong association with adverse reproductive health outcomes and the lack of education of girls.

3. Child and forced marriage

A forced marriage is defined as a marriage "conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties and is a marriage in which duress - whether physical or emotional - is a factor" [1]. FORWARD believes that any child marriage constitutes a forced marriage, in recognition that even if a child appears to give their consent, anyone under the age of 18 is not able to make a fully informed choice whether or not to marry. Child marriages must be viewed within a context of force and coercion, involving pressure and emotional blackmail and children that lack the choice or capacity to give their full consent.

4. Where does Child marriage occur?

SOURCE: UNICEF, 2005 [2]

The map above (OPEN THE LINK) shows the countries in the world where child marriage is practiced and gives an indication of the percentage of girls affected by child marriage in each country. Child marriage is a worldwide phenomenon but is most prevalent in Africa and Southern Asia and although its practice has decreased somewhat in recent decades, it remains common in, although not only confined to, rural areas and among the most poverty stricken [3].


i. Girl-Childhood Marriage highlights the pedophiliac sexual depravity of such men!

ii.The failure of the Society to end the practice means approval and endorsement of such practice!

iii.The practice of Girl-Childhood Marriage is Gender-Persecution for the Girl-Child and Women!

iv. Failure to end the practice is denying them the security of their lives; and fundamental human rights!!!

My late husband used to describe such cases of sexual association of a man with, or marriage to, a girls or woman who is more than two to four years under his age as:“INWULI ARURU - PREYING ON ANTS!”. It is so because, he used to argue, as the two of them could not be peers, of the same Age-Grade, or of a combination of two adjacent Age-Grades, as is sometimes the case, they could not have much in common, as having much in common is paramount in such associations!


i. See to it that every girl-child and boy-child is given equal opportunity for education – especially at home!

ii. Speak out boldly against Girl-Childhood Marriage and Pedophilia!

iii. Do all you can to stop Girl-Childhood Marriage and Pedophiliac Cases that may come to your attention!

iv Have your Association take action towards stopping this Evil and deadly practice in Igboland!!!



I am here to inaugurate the Queen’s School Enugu Alumni Association West Coast Region – the fifth in a row. Up Queen’s School Enugu Alumni Association World-wide! Hurray! There is an anecdote to embellish it.

The Igbo People have a Cultural expression of “ISE”, which means “FIVE”.
First of all, in their idiomatic and proverbial expressions, they say that:
“Mkpisi-aka di ise, zue-ezu, which means: COMPLETENESS!
Nke-ozo: “Mkpisi-aka di ise, mana fa n’ese araro ira”;
Meaning that they are FIVE, BUT NOT EQUAL!
Nke ozo: Mkpisi-aka nine di mkpa, n’alu olu fa – All the five fingers are important and functional;
Obulu na nke ise – isi-aka – adiro ya, aka agba ighaligha – meaning that: If the fifth finger, which is the thumb, is not there, the hand will be dysfunctional. This means that the hand cannot function well without the thumb - or the fifth finger;
The Queen’s School Enugu Alumni Association West Coast Region is the proud Fifth finger;
But that position is certainly not to render the other fingers unimportant or dysfunctional;
Rather, it should be to bind all of them together, like glue, and to enhance their performance!

Also in Igbo Cultural and Traditional Prayer, which is expressed in Igbo as “Igo-Ofo”, especially while praying with the Kola Nut (Oji, which I do not have here) or the pronouncement of Blessings, the Response or Herald of each pronouncement is: “ISE-E-E-E!”

With this, I inaugurate the Queen’s School Enugu Alumni Association West Coast Region, the Fifth Chapter, to make complete the five Fingers of the hand of the Associations of this great Institution, in the USA, ISE-E-E-E!
For the Empowerment of Girls to Be Architects of change! ISE-E-E-E!
And to be Outstanding and Shinning Beacons of Light of Achievements! ISE-E-E-E!
Queen’s School Enugu Alumni Associations of the USA have come into existence since 2006, but certainly this fifth Chapter will not be to close the door! ISE-E-E-E!
There may yet be the 6th, 7th and 10th Chapters! ISE-E-E-E-!
Congratulations! All say “ISE-E-E-E-E-E-E”!


O. E. Odinamadu (Mrs.)
(Principal Emeritus)



PREAMBLE: The Devastating Effects of the War on the People
It would be appropriate to begin this account with calling attention to the devastating situation of the Nigeria versus Biafra War of 7th July, 1967 – 12th January, 1970 on the people of Biafra. It spared nothing - the psyche, physical and materials resources of the people. There was extreme scarcity of food. It was the people’s first experience of War, apart from that of the Second World War when only Salt and Rice were, occasionally, rationed to the people at one-penny a cigarette-cup. This time, all Schools – primary, secondary and tertiary institutions - were closed throughout the war-period, especially in areas that the Nigerian Army had entered; and for the fear of bombing. Pupils, students and teachers who found themselves on indefinite holidays, went helter-skelter.

The moment the Military Government was set up in Nigeria after the Coup d’état of 15th January, 1966, and throughout the Crisis, the standards of the Military became the yard-stick. The CRISIS was the period between the Coup d’état of 15th January, 1966; the massacre of Easterners, especially the Igbo in Northern Nigeria in May, 1966 - known as the Pogrom, in which it was estimated that about 30,000 Easterners were killed; the subsequent massacres that followed on the 27th July and 27th September, 1966; respectively, before the Conference at Aburi, Ghana, of the 4th – 5th January, 1967; and the Declaration of the Democratic Republic of Biafra on 30th May, 1967.

During the War, some young men enlisted in the Biafra Army, and others were conscripted. While the adult men were in hiding from conscription, women were let loose on Ahia-Attack (trading with Nigerians across the enemy lines), while others, especially young women, were at the heels of the soldiers, especially Army Officers. Some of these women were among the set of returnee-students, who presented the greatest problems for discipline.

Generally, the women of Biafra, in their organizations, participated in the effort to provide cooked meals for soldiers and hospitals and refugee camps; and dry-packs for the soldiers at the war-fronts and trenches. The Refugee Camps had become the homes of most Biafrans whose areas had been overrun by Nigerian soldiers and, therefore, evacuated.

2. My Posting to Queen’s School
My assignment to Queen’s School by the Chief Inspector of Education to re-open Queen’s School, was almost immediately after the Ministry of Education had resumed in Enugu, following the surrender of Biafra by Major-General Philip Effiong on 15th January, 1970, Right away, I thought that such a destruction and sight needed to be recorded in pictures. Therefore, I contacted the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, and he arranged for some reporters and video-cameramen to go on the tour of inspection with me the next morning.

3. My First Trip to Queen’s School, and Inspection of the Devastation
The thought of what I would see was giving me the jitters. Stepping on the grounds of the School and on the Quadrangle, from where one could view all the desolation and the merciless destruction of all the buildings around it, was like stepping on grounds that had been hit by a tornado and deserted. The chirping of birds and crickets, in the absolute quietness, was loud and clear. And the sight of the carcasses of the burnt-out buildings: the Principal’s Office; the Chemistry Laboratory; the Classes One and Two Block of Classrooms; the Assembly Hall; and the Library, all of which had been totally or partly burnt down, was heart-breaking.

The feeling during that tour of inspection was one of disappointment, disgust and anger at whoever must have done that senseless destruction to the beautiful Institution. I started by going to the heaps of the library books which had been emptied on the Quadrangle – touching some, picking up others and dropping them again. Looking up and around, I was seeing the pieces of furniture that were littered around – some burned or hacked to pieces. During the inspection, sometimes, I was so overwhelmed by grief at the desolation that tears came to my eyes, as I cast my mind back to what I had known of the School before the War, compared to the sights at the inspection.

Next, I went to the buildings - the Principal’s Office first - and started by peeping in, before walking in slowly, as if treading on holy grounds - though desecrated, In some of the buildings, only the blocks of the walls were standing, while the charred cement plastering, the wood-work and broken-glass, formed the rubbles and ashes piled on the floors. Having not estimated the magnitude of the rubbles and ashes properly, I wore only covered shoes, when I should have worn boots and a shorter dress or skirt, because the rubbles and ashes which were some feet and inches-deep, completely covered my shoes, and the edges of my long skirt were smeared with them.

4. The most devastating and unforgettable sight of all was the heaps of the Library Books on the Quadrangle that had been burned, drenched and scotched by rain and weather for God- knows-how-long, and damaged beyond reclamation. Buildings and the Science Laboratory could be reconstructed, reequipped, refurnished and refurbished to even better standards, but not the books, most of which could not be known or reacquired.

5. Summoning All the Academic and Non-academic Staff and Students to Report
The practice for the immediate spreading of information after the War was to make announcements over the Radio. Therefore, the initial call on all the academic and non-academic staff and students to report at Queen’s School, was so made. Of course, all of those who reported were very happy to see each other. They embraced and hugged each other, and thus helped in their own identification. Then everybody registered.

6. The Return of the Old Students; the Academic and Non-Academic Staff
The mood at the return of the old students, the academic and non-academic staff was the same - very somber and of heart-break, seeing the difference from the place they used to know before the War. Everybody that came by felt the same way.

They returnees were also interested in looking around. And they did in a sorrowful atmosphere – hands folded across the chests or akimbo, with exclamations and hisses of disgust and disappointment throughout the period. While the non-academic staff helped with some cleaning-up, the academic staff prepared the announcement to invite applications from candidates for new admissions. They also prepared for the written entrance examinations, given one week later, and to be followed with interviews, the same day. Two streams of thirty students were to be selected for Class One and various numbers to fill up the other classes.

7. Who Was Responsible for the Destruction; And For What Motive?
There were speculations about who was responsible for the burning down of the major buildings of the School; as well as the motive behind the arson. No one really knew when it happened, but one thought was that the fire might have started from the uncontrollable bush-fires, usually set off by local village bush- rodent hunters, that burned into the School premises, then into the overgrown grasses or bushes around the buildings, and on to the buildings, one after the other.

But if the bush-rodent hunters were responsible, they might have ransacked and carried away the pieces of furniture, but could not have been the people who emptied out the School’s Library Books on the Quadrangle and set them on the fire that destroyed a good many of them, and leaving all of them there, exposed to the onslaught of the weather, for God-knows-how-long.

Another thought was that it might have been done by Nigerian soldiers, who entered Enugu in October, 1967, when the city was evacuated, and occupied it until the end of the War in January, 1970. The most likely motive was their spite for the educational advancement of the Easterners, among whom are the Igbo – who were then Biafrans – against whom they were fighting. The Nigerian soldiers might have wanted to destroy the School, especially the Library and the Books, which they regarded as the embodiment of the “dogo turenchi” or “oke akwukwo” or “oke-mmuta” of the Igbo, especially of the girls who, as far as the vandals were concerned, were not supposed to go to school at all.

Or, could there have been a combination of assaults by the two suspects, independently and respectively, that left such a trail of wanton destruction, as was seen?

8. Video-tape Of the Initial Inspection of Queen’s School
Even though those were the hay-days of Video Cassettes, one was made of me going round Queen’s School, into every nook and corner, viewing and inspecting the burned and abandoned books; the burned down buildings and furniture; walking on the rubbles; scooping up the ashes; picking up the debris as if to make sure what they were; picking up some of the unsalvageable Library books and throwing them down again. I went to the dormitories and viewed the emptiness, as every piece of furniture had been removed, and the windows, doors and bathroom and toilet fixtures were either removed or removed. This went on for several hours during which, at times, the weight of the loss and the cost of the unconscionable destruction of the School filled my mind

The Video was shown on the Nigerian Television on daily basis, at prime time, for a long time; and later, it was shown regularly on weekly basis, until the showing tapered off to occasional showings. The Video may still be available in the archives of the Ministry of Information, Enugu. There was a copy of the tapes for Queen’s School, which was among the things to which I called the attention when I left the Principal’s Office. I was also given a personal copy, which may still be in my home in Nigeria.

9. Cleaning Up and Carting Away the Rubbles and Ashes
The Ministry of Works came to the rescue, and sent their men and vehicles to clean up and collect the debris. They also sent men to cut the over-grown bushes and grasses, and sprayed the buildings and grounds for reptiles, rats and mice, which were destroyed in their hundreds and thousands. Ponds were also sprayed for mosquitoes. The Matron’s Quarters, the Maintenance and other non-academic staff-quarters were also cleared, cleaned and sprayed, to enable the people reoccupy them and to resume duty.

10. Re-Admission of Returnee-Students
In as much as there was the need to readmit all the returnee-students, and they wanted to be re-admitted and accommodated in all circumstances, there was also the need to take great care so as to avoid mistaken identities and gate-crashers, who would pose as having been students of Queen’s School or of any other school. Each returnee was first of all required to register, giving her full names, Class, House, House Captain, as well as the name of the Class Teacher, who would help to identify them. Of course, old students easily recognized and identified each other, and the academic staff also recognized them. Once identified, they were admitted and placed in their proper classes.

11. No Loss of Any Queen’s School Life During the War; but Generally of Biafrans
As I recall, there was no report of any loss of life of any member of Queen’s School, Enugu - either of a student, academic or non-academic staff, during the War. Almost everybody returned except a few in each class. Therefore, there was no need for any ceremony for any loss of life. But there were students and staff who did not return for other reasons. But the enormous loss of lives of Biafrans during the pogrom and the War was noted, and discussed commonly.

12. Admission of New Students in Class One and Filling Up Classes Two to Upper Six
Some people had thought that the reopening of the School would be chaotic, and therefore, a good opportunity for them to pick and choose any school or classes for admission. There was a great deal of pressure from parents and guardians and mentors, to influence the admission of their wards and protégées. and especially of the girl-friends of Army Officers, most of whom might have been trying to get back to school with other agenda other than that of being secondary school students.

But I insisted on transparent performance at the entrance examinations and the interviews that followed, to make the selections. This caused some disaffection with those whose candidates failed With the initiatives and co-operation of the academic staff, we were able to make the best selections of candidates who acquitted themselves creditably, both in the short and the long run. We were able to admit two streams of Class One and filled up the other classes with different numbers.

13. After-school Coaching-classes
At a Staff Meeting, the teachers agreed to hold after-school classes for students so as to help them pick up, and to bring up their standards, which were rusticated throughout the war period. The students of the classes before the War were promoted to the next classes, and were followed up with after-school lessons, home-work and extra tutoring. That program was going on very well when I left the School. The extra coaching paid good dividends as Queen’s School performed very well even in the WAEC of 1970.

14. The First Assembly and Re-opening of Classes
The first Assembly and re-opening of classes took place two weeks later, early in February, 1970 the Chief Inspector of Education and the Inspector of Education (Secondary School) were invited to attend this first Assembly at which they introduced the new Principal to the whole School, which introduction had been made to the academic and non-academic staff. They commented on the situation of Queen’s School after the War, and welcomed everybody – the returnees as well as the new students.

The non-return of the former Principal and Vice-Principal and some students did not require any special ceremony, except to state the fact during the Assembly; and offering prayers for them, as well as for those who returned, for continued God’s protection and guidance.

Likewise, the enormous loss of lives during the War was noted; a two-minute silence was observed in their memories, and ended with a prayer offered for the peaceful repose of their souls, with the Lord. Amen!

15. Some Temporary Members of the Academic Staff
Within one week, two new members of the academic staff, who were the staff of the UNN, Nsukka were posted temporarily to Queen’s School, until the University reopened. They were Dr. Laz Ekwueme, who eventually became a professor at the UNN, Nsukka, and Dr. Ndubuisi, who also went back to the UNN.

16. No Dormitory Accommodation Initially, But Snacks and Food for Students
For obvious reasons, students could not be admitted into the dormitories immediately the School reopened. The buildings were standing, but they were ransacked and all the furniture was gone. The students had to be coming from outside but, arrangements were made for women to bring in various kinds of snacks for students to buy during the recess, as usual.

Then within a few weeks, after the cleaning up, students were admitted into the dormitories, but they had to bring in beds and lockers for themselves. Food could also not be cooked in the School Kitchen to feed them. And as a temporary measure, while the Kitchen was being fixed, arrangements were made for some women to bring in cooked food in the mornings for breakfast; afternoons for lunch; and evenings for dinner, to be served in the Dinning Room. These women were interviewed by a panel of academic and non-academic staff, and their cooking were tasted and approved by them,

17. The Use of Buildings and Pieces of Furniture Found In Good Condition
Some buildings were found intact, such as the Geography Room, which was used temporarily as the Principal’s Office. One other large classroom was used as Staff Room. Some of the salvaged desks and chairs were put in the make-shift Staff-Room, and the staff had to share the use of the desks and chairs. The rest of the classrooms were cleaned and put to use as they were ready. The Lower and Upper Six Classrooms behind the Geography Room, which were also intact, were re-occupied by the students. Next to be salvaged and put to use were the Dormitories, Kitchen, and Teachers Quarters.

When classes started, as there were only a few tables and chairs left, some of the teachers had to use the windowsills or the floors to lay their books and bags, while others brought furniture from home. A saving grace was that there were wall-blackboards, and I had to buy boxes of chalk and Biro-pens from the SS&S Bookshop to issue out to the teachers. Almost all of the students had to bring desks, chairs, stools and lockers, or sit and write on the bare floors. This went on for the whole of the first term, until some school furniture started to be supplied to the School during the holidays.

18. Reconstruction of the Damaged Buildings
Almost immediately the School reopened, the Ministry of Works inspected and awarded contracts for the reconstruction of the Principal’s Office and the Classes One and Two Classroom Block, which was to the left of the Principals Office. The work on the block of classrooms was progressing nicely until one night, there was a heavy rain and storm which carried off the half-way done roof as a unit, and dumped it on the Quadrangle. It was glory to God that it did not happen during the day or when people were around. Of course, that contract had to be cancelled and the job was re-awarded.

Then one morning, the new contractor and his team were not at the site, I rushed to the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works who had been co-operating very well and frequenting the site to see the progress of the work. He could not say much to me, and as I understood it, his hands and tongue had been officially tied. But upon further enquiry from other sources, I was made to understand that the order was given by the then Administrator of the East Central State – Dr. Ukpabi Asika – to stop the work forthwith. It was stopped, but completed after I had gone.

19. Assembly Hall and the Gift from the Federal Government
The Assembly Hall had been burned down, but instead of the Federal Government helping to reconstruct the building at its site, chose to put up a hall of steel-structure, in the name of the rehabilitation of the School. The building was placed at the space in front of the block of classrooms for Classes three and four, on the right. The building, which was completed after I had left the School, did not fit into the Master Plan of the School, and was absolutely unsightly.

Suggestions to the builders to site the building elsewhere, was totally rejected by them. In fact, the citing of the building made people think that there might have been an ulterior motive, in the execution of that project, to spoil the beauty of the School and the utility of the other buildings. It constituted an eye-sore and spoilt the beauty and symmetry of the whole Institution. The same awkward citing of a steel-structure was repeated at the WTC, Enugu. Using the structure as an Assembly Hall was awkward; and it could not be dismantled and carried elsewhere because of the cost that would be involved.

20. The Kitchen and Students’ Food Committee
When the Kitchen was ready, contractors were engaged to supply raw foods in bulk. To help the Matron in bringing out what was to be cooked, a Food Committee comprising of students and the Matron was set up. While the Matron received the big supplies from the contractors and kept them in the Main Food Store, she issued some in smaller quantities to the Student Food Committee, to keep in a smaller store, from which they issued out the quantities to be cooked on daily basis, and keep the store under lock and key.

The Kitchen Staff were also briefed to be very mindful of the cooking, so as to make the food very palatable for the students. They were also enjoined not to play hanky-panky with the food.

21. Student Dressing Without School Uniforms
As School uniforms were not readily available, and the economic conditions of the families after the War did not also warrant requiring uniforms immediately, students were allowed to come in their ordinary clothes, with some regulations, such as:
No minis or long-sleeves or flowing gowns or skirts;
Sweaters and raincoats were allowed;
No hair longer than three inches, worn loose, braided or tied;
No earrings, except small, button-type, clipped or attached to the ears;
No necklaces or rings or bracelets of any type;
No lipsticks, nail-polish or eye and facial make-up;
No slippers of any type were allowed.
No slippers of any type were allowed.
No plastic or bathroom-slippers of any type were allowed;
Only flat sandals of any colors, or bare feet, were allowed;

A warning was issued that any prohibited items worn beyond the designated point, would be removed from the wearer and confiscated. Repeated offences would be followed with other disciplinary measures. But in spite of this warning, which was repeated every morning at the Assembly, some of the students were insistent on coming with them. The disallowed items were collected every morning at physical inspection before the Assembly, and kept in the Principal’s Office. Heaps of the confiscated items were in my office when I left Queen’s School.

22. Permissions and Exeat Cards
Boarding Students were not allowed to go out, even at approved times, without the Exeat Cards, signed by the House Captain and the House Mistress, also signed and returned by the person allowed to be visited. Any break earned the student some punishment or sanctions.

There was also zero intolerance for lateness. This strictness on discipline, and my expression to drive it in, earned me a nickname at Queen’s School, Enugu.

23. Inside Gate at Queen’s School
As the students and staff lived in the town and came to school every morning, it was imperative that lateness must be checked. Also the use of cars and taxis for transportation to school
underlined the necessity for checking both motor vehicles and pedestrian traffic – authorized and unauthorized – into the School premises. Therefore, a Gate had to be constructed at the end of the long walk from the Entrance gate and a few yards from the site of the Principal’s Office. The gate was made of aluminum pipes, expanded metal and iron-rods; had two swinging shutters; hinged on concrete pillars on both sides, with one small gate on either side for pedestrians.

Gate-men were, therefore, needed to check the traffic of motor-vehicles and pedestrians, and to keep the gates open or closed as needed. It was opened at 7:00 a.m. in the morning, and finally closed at 7:00 p.m. in the evening. The gate was especially useful in checking student lateness, as well as dormitory borders sneaking in and out. And motor-vehicles had to stop, be checked before being allowed to enter.

24. Problems of Discipline
There were problems of discipline, especially with the girls who had lived freely throughout the War period, and have forgotten all about school-discipline, and that they would have to return to school and strict discipline. My stance on discipline irked those students and their mentors outside. I believe that the dislike by some powers-that-were of the non-admission of some candidates, and my insistence on strict discipline of those who were admitted, were part of the reasons why I was taken out of Queen’s School.

25. Fence-wall Around Queen’s School
Apart from checking the traffic in and out of the front gate, the need was felt to provide some sort of barricade or fence-wall around the whole Queen’s School premises. It would be very necessary to secure the School from dare-devil students, who would sometimes defy the rules and regulations, and to keep out intruders and predators who would take chances on preying on the students. Securing the front and leaving the back entirely open was in the fashion of the ostrich that buries its head in the sand, but leaves its back-side totally exposed. Such a barricade around was thought of as a necessity, but would be a very expensive proposition. However, I was not in the School long enough to bring up such an idea even for a study of the cost to be made.

26. “Operation Feed the Nation” And the School Farm
When we returned from the War, the on-going project for Nigeria was “Operation Feed the Nation”, which was for the encouragement of agriculture to produce food of all description, enough to feed the hungry millions, and to spare. Myself being the daughter of farmers, and big-time village farmers at that, I understood farming, participated in farm-work with my parents and enjoyed it. I also took pleasure in practicing it on my own, and encouraging it among my friends.

By the time the School reopened, one Chief Ezenwa of Ekwuluobia, who lived on Annang Street, opposite Queen’s School, had occupied Queen’s School land and started to farm on it, without any kind of permission from any constituted authority. When the School re-opened, and I saw the farm, I sent for him, and asked him to stop his farm-work there, forthwith, and to remove whatever he had planted. He thought that I was joking, and continued. I had to send for him a second time, to warn him that going further would mean that I would send people to destroy the farm.

That was when he realized the seriousness of the matter, and started sending emissaries to talk to me, and to convince me to let him continue until his crops were ripe and harvested. Of course, that was not granted. The moment he moved out, I invited the Ministry of Agriculture to help in setting up the School Farm and in the supervision. Then Rural Science was included in the School curriculum and time-table.

The land was cut into plots for each class, to the extent that each student had a mound or ridge, on which they planted such crops as: maize, sweet potatoes and yams, and vegetables such as okra, greens, keren-keren, arira, onugbu, ugu, ugbogulu, akidi with seeds and fertilizer supplied by the Ministry. The first harvests of these crops were shared by the students and staff. But when the School Kitchen opened, they were used for cooking for the students. This not only saved money but also enriched the menu.

27. Landscaping of the School Compound
We also invited the Market Garden to help in landscaping the campus, and in the planting of shrubs and flowers to beautify the place and make it more habitable. This was done, and the flowers were already blooming and the shrubs growing when I left Queen’s School, thanks to the fact that the School reopened at the beginning of the rainy-season.

28. Sports and Games
School Sports and Games were started in earnest without any waste of time, with the equipments that could be gathered from the Sports Commission, local Shops and the Market. Practices and challenges went on among the Classes and Houses, while they were preparing for outside competitions and challenges, such as for the Youths Day; the National Sports Competitions; and for entries in the Festival of the Arts for Arts, Literature and Dancing. As we had sacrificed three-and-a-half years to the War, we had a great deal of catching up to do, and no more time to waste.

29. In-door Games
We also tried to introduce indoor games like Scrabbles; Ludo; Snakes & Ladders; Nchokolito or Ncho or Okwe, known as Ayo in Yoruba; Playing Cards; Chinese Checkers; while carrying on with Lawn-Tennis and Table-Tennis Games, Volley Ball; Basket-ball; Baseball and Football;.

30. School Book-store
In order to help students with procuring text-books and exercise books easily and at cheaper prices, I started the “Queen’s School Supplies Store” for Students and Staff. I got books from the CMS Bookshop, which had been renamed the Stationery and School Supplies (SS&S) Bookshop, as well as from some traders in the Market, at bulk purchase discount prices, which were passed on to students and staff.

Some of the books were placed at the Staff Room, as a beginning to reequip the School Library. Sister Joseph Therese Agbasiere was coming to get some books from us when she was the Principal of the Queen of the Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka.

31. How and Why I left Queen’s School, Enugu
One day in August, 1971, I received a letter from the Chief Inspector of Education to come to his office. Mr. George Akabogu, now late, the Principal of Afikpo Government College, which reopened at the Institute of Administration, which was the building at the top of the hill, behind Queen’s School, received the same letter. Both of us met there. And after a while of fidgeting and going in and out of the office, the Chief Inspector brought two letter – one for me and the other for Mr. Akabogu.

They letters conveyed the instruction e that both of us were to proceed on indefinite leave, with immediate effect. No reasons were given. “Indefinite Leave” was used in those days as a disciplinary measure. Further inquiries revealed that it was on account of the exception that the Administrator of the East Central State had been nursing about the roles that Mr. Akabogu and I played before and during the War in Biafra.

32. The Roles I Played For Biafra
I started with the Civil Orientation Committee that went round Eastern Nigeria, gingering Easterners up to the realities of the Crisis, with the slogan: “EASTERNERS – ARE YOU AWARE!” And when the “Leaders of Thought” decided on secession from Nigeria, we went round with the slogan: “EASTERNERS – GET READY!”. After the summit at Aburi, Ghana, the Committee went round again with another slogan: “ON ABURI WE STAND!” This Slogan was on-going when the “DEMOCTATIC REPUBLIC OF BIAFRA” was declared on 30th May, 1967.

After the War was declared by Nigeria on Biafra, in the position of the President of the Biafra Council of Women’s Societies, I mobilized the women of Biafra for their Win-the-War Efforts throughout the War. I also led the delegation of the women of Biafra to the Queen of England; and to the Friends of Biafra in Europe. When the Relief Materials we were given arrived, I led the distributed of them to the women’s organizations for their Win-the-War Efforts.

The Indefinite Leave was from August, 1970, during the Second Term, for one whole year until August, 1971. Then I retired voluntarily. It was during the period that I was on Indefinite Leave that Mrs. Maria David-Osuagwu acted as Principal, and continued until Rev. Sister Joseph Therese Agbasiere was transferred from the Holy Rosary Secondary School, Nsukka to take over from her.

33. In Memoriam of Persons Who Served Queen’s School, Enugu and Have Passed Away.
Unfortunately and sadly, since the reopening of Queen’s School after the Nigeria versus Biafra War, we have lost by death, some of the members of the academic staff, and of the Board of Governors, who served the School diligently, namely:
i. Mr. Felix Nwuba …………………..................................Music Master
ii. Chief R. O. Nkworcha………………………………………...Member, Board of Governors
iii. Miss Sussan Obi…………..………………… ………………..Physical Education Master, and.
iv. Rev. Mother Dr. Joseph Therese Agbasiere..………..Principal.
v. Mr. Andy Anyamene Senior Advocate of Nigeria…….Former Member/Chairman, Board of Governors
vi. Any others whose passing has not come to my attention.

May we all stand, and observe a one-minute silence, in the memories and honor of the dear souls of: Mr. Felix Nwuba; Chief R. O. Nkworcha; Miss Sussan Obi; Rev. Dr. Mother Joseph Therese Agbasiere; and Mr. Andrew Anyamene, S.A.N.; and all those whose passing may not have come to my attention. We pray, in reverence to God, for the peaceful repose of their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed, that through the mercy of God, they may have eternal rest, at the bosom of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen!!!

Oyibo E. Odinamadu (Mrs.)
(Principal Emeritus)