A former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Fthr. Matthew Kukah and the Northern Elders Forum, (NGF) have warned that Nigeria was repeating its mistakes that led to the civil war which lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970.
Speaking at a webinar on Thursday, they cautioned that unless something urgent was done, the aftermath of the ongoing injustice, poor governance and leadership failure in the country would be worse than what was experienced during the civil war.
The civil war was fought between the government of Nigeria, headed by the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd.), and the secessionist state of Biafra, led by the late Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu, from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970, during which over one million persons reportedly lost their lives.
Father Kukah, who was the Keynote Speaker, explained that Nigeria had yet to learn any lesson from the civil war, adding that the frustration and feeling of injustice by a section of the country after the war were still rife till today despite Gowon’s ‘No victor, no vanquished’ statement.
Similarly, the spokesperson for the NEF, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said at the webinar that unless something dramatic was done, things would get worse. He lamented that the post-civil war elite had substantially killed the country even more than those who launched the country into the “disaster” that ended in 1970.
The on-line conference, with the theme, ‘The 2nd Never Again Conference: 51 years after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war,’ was hosted by Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo Think-tank, in partnership with Ovation International and Njenje Media, while a prominent economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, was the chairman, planning committee.