TRIBUTE TO UMUAKAH HERO, BIAFRAN VETERAN AND NIGERIAN MILITARY GURU
CHIEF BERNARD IBEROSI:
The Sunrise was March 20, 1932. The Sunset, after 75
years, was not long in coming. But he was ready to
answer the call. So on November 22, 2007, Chief
Bernard Iberosi, The Chishirimeze of Umuakah, Njaba
Local Government Area, Imo State, was gloriously
called home to the Lord.
Chief Iberosi was a soldierís soldier; the
quintessence of military tradition. And he soldiered
all through his life; in candor, decency, precision
On June 20, 1952, Chief Iberosi joined the Royal Niger
Frontier Force and trained in Zaria.
In 1958, he trained in Teshie, Ghana and was part of
the military parade for Nigerian Independence in 1960.
During the Katanga crisis in 1964, Chief Iberosi was
part of the United Nationís Peace Keeping Operation to
Congo under General Aguiyi Ironsiís Command. Because
of his shrewdness, bravery and discipline, his
superiors took a special liking for him.
In 1966, Chief Iberosi, because of his commitment to
the Igbo Nation, became in his own words ďan unwitting
participantĒ in the January 15 putsch that toppled the
Tafawa Balewa regime under Ifeajuna contingent. As the
coup was being foiled and they tried to escape Lagos,
Chief Iberosi was among those arrested at the Carter
Bridge and taken to Kaduna where he was detained.
After the counter coup in July 1966, and following
pressures from Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu, the Peoplesí
General, that the first coup detainees be released, he
was among those released and transferred to Enugu in
early 1967 forfurther detention. Shortly thereafter, General Ojukwu
released him and because of his self-distinction,
Ojukwu delegated six mobile police trucks to bring the
hero home to Umuakah in April/May 1967. Having been
considered dead since the first coup when he did not
return home and had not been confirmed detained, his
sudden return to his fatherís compound with military
escort after 15 months was beyond any bodyís
imagination. The entire Ubah Village went into
tumultuous jubilation and celebration that disrupted
nearby primary school and markets as people both young
and old trooped to Iberosiís compound to see ďthe dead
manĒ that has come back home.
Throughout the war that ensued in later part of 1967,
Chief Iberosi was the Quarter Master at the Biafran
Training Depot at Owerre Nkworji, Imo State.
After the war in 1970, Chief Iberosi was recalled into
the Nigerian Army and was in charge of Umungasi
Garrison until 1972. From 1972 to 1974 he served in
Port Harcourt. From 1974 he served in Jos under
General Theophilus Danjuma until his retirement in
After the 1976 coup, General Murtala Mohammed
initiated the Anti-corruption Crusade and ordered the
investigation of several Army depots, cantonments and
garrisons, including Umungasi Garrison. Chief Iberosi
was arrested and indicted along with three other
subordinates. After trial, he was the only officer
discharged and acquitted because of his distinct and
unrivaled record for honesty, devotion to duty and no
nonsense approach to issues. The others were convicted
and given various sentences including life
From 1976 he went into private business with Brigadier
Hilary Njoku of the Biafran fame. He visited his son,
Sir Simon Iberosi, several times in Dallas. Despite
pressures on him to stay in the United States, he
preferred to stay home and enjoy his old age.
He is survived by his dutiful wife, Lolo Roseline
Iberosi, Mr. Thaddeus Iberosi, Chizor Dike (nee
Iberosi) and Chinwendu Iberosi, grand children and
numerous brothers and cousins.
It is against this background, that we, the entire
Akah Communities World wide mourn our hero, Biafran
veteran and distinguished Nigerian soldier, Chief
May the Good Lord grant him peace and accommodate him
in His Bosom, in Jesus name, amen. And as for Simon
and his family, May the Almighty grant you all the
fortitude to bear the loss. Itís as it should be,
nothing in return stands still. Take heart Simon, as I
recoil into supplication to God to grant me the
proverbial three score and ten.
Hon Dr. Obinna Duruji, Esq.
The Ohamadike of Akahland
Obinna Duruji, Esq.
DURUJI LAW FIRM, PC
Attorneys & Counselors at Law
7600 Georgia Avenue, NW, Suite 217
Washington, DC 20012
202 722 0961
Email: o.duruji@amheritage univ.net
My dear Simon:
It's always a good thing to celebrate a life well lived. Obinna's testimony affirms that Chief Bernard Iberosi, The Chishirimeze of Umuakah, lived a good, honorable life. For that we thank God. But to learn as I now have, how he touched the lives of all of us, makes his passing even more memorable. And so my family and I join in celebrating not just an Akah hero, but an Igbo hero, a Biafran hero, one of many heroes to whom we collectively owe gratitude and debt of goodwill too big to ever fully pay, notwithstanding that only very few seem to realize. Yes, we have heroes, and one of them has fallen. He departs with my personal respect even as I never had the privilege to know him personally; but he was and is my hero too, for he is Igbo, and Biafran. Be of good cheer, knowing that the greatest wish and prayer of every loving child is to bury his parents, not the other way around. Cry if you must for it is a rite of passage none can prevent, mourn the loss for the urge is natural; but above all, hold your head high and wear a solid, comforting smile, knowing that the good memories of a noble soul is what you will forever have as your father. The mantle is never easy to accept, but none of us ever does willingly or at our own time, only as ordained by the Father Almighty, to Whom alone the Iberosi family must now prayerfully look up with humility and say, Thanks for the the opportunity, for the times we shared. Take care, and welcome to my world.
Dr. Ken Okorie
(Every business decision has legal implications)
P.S. Obinna: Thanks for shading the light that we all needed to see, and for being a good ambassador for Umuakah
Oke osisi, no matter how tall it gets, must one day come down to mother earth. Coming down does not diminish the oke osisis, it just confirms its submission to nature.
Please accept my sympathy on your father's passing. Death, even though a reality, saddens tremendously. Time dissipates the sadness and brings one to the reality that a circle was completed when death visited. I trust that this understanding will guide you and your family through this trying time.
On behalf of Federal Government College Enugu Old Students Association of which you are a member (Class of ' 81), I wish to extend our heartfelt condolonces to you on the passing of your beloved father. We know that he is asleep in the Lord and will rise with the saints triumphant on that glorious morning !
Please be assured of our support and prayers at this time of sorrow !
Houston Chapter(Class of ' 82
Simon and Iberosi
Please accept my condolence for the death of your
father; Chief B. C. Iberosi.
He was a man of impeccable character.
He came, he saw, he participated and he is gone. May
his soul rest in perfect peace. Amen!
May god give you and your family the straight to bear
his departure. Amen!
Philip Chudi Ejikemeh
For the family
What am I hearing from your end? My family and I extend our sincere condolence to you and your family for this irreparable loss.
You know that you have the duty to console your mother and your other siblings, as you are now the head of the house - as young as you are. It is said that God giveth and God taketh. Only God knows why He does what He does. Burying a father is not easy in Nigeria of today. I have just been there, as you know.
Again, please accept our sympathy. May God Almighty give you the strength and fortitude to bear this loss.
Take care my friend.
Dr Richard Nwachukwu
Publisher, African Herald
Dear Sir Simon,
My family and I wish
to extend our heart-felt condolences to you and your family on your colossal loss. Our prayers are always with the Iberosi's family
throughout this time of mourning.
May the Almighty God reinforce your family with courage and faith at this time of bereavement and sadness. Our good God will also grant peaceful rest and lounge to the spirit of your deceased loved one.
Take heart and give our sincere sympathies to your entire family both in U.S.A and Ngeria.
Nze Dr. Daniel Onyeagba
Sir Simon Iberosi:
Please accept the heart-felt sympathies of the family of Chief Louis and Chief/Mrs. Francisca Obioha. May the Iberosi family far and near, find strength in the Good Lord, and may He Bless us all.
Chief L. N. Obioha, for the family
Sir McBee & Family,
It is sad indeed to read about the sudden transition of your beloved father to the other side after a brief illness. On behalf of my family and the entire membership of OOPA - Austin, Texas, let me join Umu Orlu families to express our heart-felt condolences to you, your family here and at Umuaka, Nigeria. Please ndo and take heart.
And I would like to advise you to demonstrate your maturity by being strong in spirit without loosing your faith during this difficult and challenging time of temptation, loss and grief. I will keep you and your family in my daily prayers and thoughts. I pray that your father's Soul Rest in Perfect Peace...Amen.
Nze, Philip Obilom, President
OOPA - Austin
What a sad news! May God Almighty comfort you. Our prayers are with you and
What else can I say? E don happen, there is nothing you can do now but go
and give him a befitting burial. E good make man born a son we go bury am
instead of the man burying his son. Make we thank God for his life and pray
for God to give am peace at last.
Extend our prayers to the rest of the family.