Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described the Nigerian Civil war of 1967-1970 as a national tragedy that should never be allowed to repeat itself, adding that it is important to ensure that equity, justice and fairness prevail in Nigeria.
Osinbajo stated this at a town hall meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war organised by Ken Nnamani Leadership and Development Center in conjunction with the National War Museum in Umuahia, Abia State yesterday.He said that the anniversary serves as a way of remembering the war and would offer Nigerians the opportunity to take necessary steps to prevent its reoccurrence.
The Vice President added that the greatest tribute to those who died in the war was to ensure that setbacks do not induce hopelessness in the country, stressing that there was always hope for a better future.
“We must admit that the war was a collective failure of all Nigerians and all segments of the country and that those setbacks must not induce hopelessness as a nation.“The cost of resolving our differences peacefully is far less than doing so through war. One of the biggest changes of the nation is to provide young people with opportunity to express their creativity and ensure that the younger ones do not see the country with the same lens it was seen before the war.
Responding, Nnamani said the 50th anniversary of the end of the civil war was in every respect, a significant milestone in the life of the nation and an occasion for reflection.
He stated that it was to that extent that the Leadership and Development Center thought it appropriate to organise an event that would bring together leaders and citizens to reflect on the war and its legacy, while charting a course for the future.
“For those of us who witnessed and participated in the war, there is no gainsaying the fact that the conflict was a costly catastrophe that has left its ugly marks on generations of Nigerians,” he said.
Speaking, Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, suggested how the effects of the war could be erased and urged that attention should be paid to areas that were devastated by the war and wondered why it had taken the country a very long time to effect this.
Also. Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma said the anomalies in the polity should be addressed through dialogue, adding, “Our leaders should rise and address these challenges sincerely and effectively.”Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Uchechukwu Ogah in his closing remarks, described the anniversary as a worthy event and commended Federal Government’s presence through Osinbajo.