Raymond EJIOGU

Raymond Chilaka Ejiogu, World War II veteran and community leader, also  father of public intellectual and activist, E.C Ejiogu. Ejiogu Raymond left Enugu with other new enlistees in the Signal Corps on 7 November 1941 by train to Lagos enroute Gold Coast, now Ghana, then Freetown, Sierra Leone, mindful of the dangers of encountering German submarines at sea. They ported at Nairobi, in Kenya on 23 March 1942. Their brief stops in Cape Town and Durban were remarkable for Ejiogu as he witnessed firsthand, aspects of the militarism which characterised Afrikaneer nationalism in South Africa. From Nairobi, the contingent proceeded seven miles to the Karin Estate, near Mount Kenya where the Signal Training School was located, for training in wireless operation. Following this, they were deployed in the war efforts at the Kenyan capital for two and a half years. Their deployment abroad ended in October 1944, when they arrived in Lagos. In 1967 Ejiogu left Port Harcourt and joined the Biafra war efforts as a Signal personnel.
Place of Growth

Ejiogu Raymond was raised in his village, Ubonu-kam Onicha Ezinihitte in Imo State by a single-parent father Ubonukam Onicha.

Ejiogu had two wives, 11 children, 30 grand, and more than six great grandchildren when he died in 2011. Amongst his children are Mrs. Margaret Ednah I. ibe, nee Ejiogu of Houston, Texas, US; and Professor E. C. Ejiogu of the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Mr. Ejiogu began working as a teacher in 1939 at the St. Dominic’s Mission School, Ezinihitte, right after he obtained the Standard Six School Certificate. He resigned in 1940 to seek employment in the civil service, but while job hunting in provincial capital, Enugu he decided to enlist as a soldier and was accepted into the Queen’s Own Nigeria Regiment in the Signal Corps on  2 February 1941. Being small in stature, his selection was based on his education. Ejiogu’s army career began 1944 and he rotated between Apapa, Lagos and Kaduna until 1956 when he applied for, and was granted meritorious discharge. Thereafter, he worked as a wireless operator to land a living first with the Nigerian Railway Corporation in Enugu, and then oil multinational, Shell British Petroleum with whom he worked in Owerri, Aba and Port Harcourt, until the outbreak of the Nigeria-Biafra war.
TheNews August 8, 2011

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer