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Through all this, Ogunewe kept in touch with Gowon in Lagos and was crucial to arrangements that were subsequently made to successfully repatriate non-eastern soldiers and their families out of the region - a remarkable achievement for which he was rewarded by being fully reabsorbed into the Nigerian Army without loss of rank after the civil war. But even this was not so straightforward. For one, Ogunewe had to resist all kinds of entreaties to allow vengeful Igbo mobs gain entry into the barracks to liquidate the northern troops there. Secondly, according to then Major (later Brigadier) Benjamin Adekunle, Lt. Col. Murtala Muhammed had contacted Lt. Yar'Adua secretly and ordered him to break into the armoury to secure arms and ammunition for northern soldiers - to the exclusion of others. This led to a clash between them which almost cost Adekunle his life later on.

Constituting a series of civil wars, the Congo Crisis was also a proxy conflict in the Cold War, ..

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Interview: General IB Babangida (rtd). Archives of the Nigerian Army Education Corps and School, 2000. See text in - Major General HB Momoh (ed): The Nigerian Civil War, 1967-1970. History and Reminiscences. Sam Bookman Publishers. Nigerian Army Education Corps and School, 2000.

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On February 12, Ironsi took his most sensitive decision to date when he made Nwokedi the sole commissioner for the establishment of an administrative machinery for a unified Nigeria - even though he already appointed a separate Constitutional Review Panel under Rotimi Williams which had not submitted a report. Four days later he promulgated the Suppression of Disorder Decree making allowance for military tribunals and martial law. About this time too, he abolished the compulsory Hausa language test for entry into the northern civil service - a decision which appealed not just to non-Hausa speaking northerners but also to southerners eyeing northern public service careers as well. Ironsi also authorized a counter-insurgency campaign against Isaac Boro's "Peoples Republic of the Niger Delta". The internal security operation in the Kaiama area of present day Bayelsa state that captured Boro was led by Major John Obienu of the Recce regiment supported by infantry elements of the 1st battalion in Enugu, prominent among whom was then Lt. YY Kure. Boro, (along with Samuel Owonaru, Nottingham Dick and Benneth Mendi) was eventually convicted of treason and sentenced to death only to be released by the subsequent Gowon regime and die fighting during the civil war.

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