By Anayo Ezugwu
NDIGBO Lagos and Nzuko Umunna have called on the federal government to learn from the lessons of the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War. The groups, in collaboration with civil society organizations are organizing a conference to commemorate 50 years of end of civil war with the theme: “Never Again”.
Raymond Obieri, chairman, Council of Elders Ndigbo Lagos, said Nigerians should underscore the lessons learned as a result of the civil war. At a press conference in Lagos, in preparation for conference on Monday, January 13, Obieri said the event will celebrate the unique and many shared but often ignored common attributes and mutual interests between Nigeria’s racial groups as epitomized by the age-long peaceful coexistence and robust relationships.
According to him, the Never Again Conference is aimed at promoting nation building, forgiveness, healing, re-integration, stability and national cohesion. “We also want to use the occasion to call for national reflection and encourage building bridges among ethnic groups in Nigeria,” he said.
On his part, Prof. Pat Utomi, chairman, Nzuko Umunna, said the government must stop behaving as if the civil war didn’t happen. He noted that the growing agitations across of the country are as a result of government not underscoring the lessons learned during the war.
Utomi called on the government to solve the challenges facing the country through rational public conversation. “The biggest challenge we have as country is poverty. If we put our energy into creating wealth and people are prospering, they won’t be quarrelling with each other on the internet. That is the truth of the matter and that is where we should be concentrating,” he said.
The “Never Again Conference” will be chaired by Prof. Anya O. Anya, former chief executive officer, Nigeria Economic Summit, while Prof Wole Soyinka is one of the guest speakers. Others are Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria; Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, former Vice President of Nigeria; Ayo Adebanjo, leader, Afenifere and Nnia Nwodo, president general, Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
The panelists at the conference are Prof Yima Sen; Onyeka Onwenu; Senator Shehu Sani; Olisa Agbakoba, SAN and Akin Osuntokun. Other personalities expected at the conference include: Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha; Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Sultan of Sokoto; Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife; Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano; Prof James Ayatse, Tor Tiv; Ogiame Ikenwoli, Olu of Warri and Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, Oba of Lagos.
– Jan. 9, 2020 @ 18:09 GMT |