Months after the demise of the Biafra secessionist leader Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, his widow Bianca Ojukwu has been appointed an ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Mrs Ojukwu, a former beauty queen who has won multiple pageants including the ‘Most Beautiful Girl’ in Nigeria, ‘Miss Intercontinental’ and ‘Miss Africa’, was Wednesday unanimously confirmed by the Senate as ambassador following nomination by President Goodluck Jonathan.
She was nominated for the position last year alongside 87 others, but was unable to attend the Senate screening following the death of her husband in London on November 10, 2011.
She was eventually able to appear before the Senate panel on April 25.
Senate President David Mark said he was convinced that Mrs Ojukwu would make a good mark as an ambassador representing Nigeria.
“I believe she will represent us very well,” he remarked.
This will be Mrs Ojukwu’s second appointment to public office. In January last year, President Jonathan had appointed her a Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs.
But because the appointment came less than a month after her ailing husband was flown to hospital in the UK, she was unable to take it up while she tended her spouse on his sick bed.
In an earlier interview with this reporter in April 2010, Bianca admitted that being Ojukwu’s wife was a handful.
She married him in 1994 at the age of 22.
“Being Ikemba’s wife is a job on its own. These are issues that are constantly being discussed,” she said at the time.
“Right now, my prerogative is my husband and my family. I have a very young family. I don’t want a situation that would have my attention divided.”
Before taking up her family role fulltime, Bianca was a practising lawyer.
She is the daughter of Christian Onoh, a multi-millionaire businessman who was once governor of Anambra State in eastern Nigeria.
She had turned down several political appointments before President Jonathan’s offer, which was largely as a calculation move to win the support of Ojukwu’s political machinery among the Igbo people.