Former president of Ohaneze cites Post-war bitterness as tool against peaceful coexistence.
Former president of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, has called on Igbos to move on from the bitterness encountered from the Nigerian Civil War which still affects their political relationships with other regions in the country.
Mr Nwodo argued that there was a need for dialogue and negotiations to drive progress and peaceful coexistence.
“We have for too long allowed the bitterness of the war and its lingering feelings to dictate our political relationships,” he stated on Tuesday.
Speaking during the ‘International Research Conference on 50 Years Post-Nigeria Civil War’ organised by the Centre for Health and Allied Legal and Demographical Development Research and Training at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, Mr Nwodo also acknowledged the frustration of Igbo younger generation is experiencing.
He noted, “The young men and women who were not part of the war are frustrated by the impasse.
“We do not want any war. We have shed enough blood without producing corresponding political results.
”In June, President Muhammadu Buhari had threatened to deal with the Igbo-dominated South-East in a manner similar to the violence visited upon the region’s civilians by him and other military officers who fought on the Nigerian side during the Civil War.
Mr Buhari said he had had enough of the raging attacks against government facilities across the South-East. Violent thugs have been on the rampage in the region, killing and setting public and private assets on fire. He had previously warned that there would be consequences for the attacks, and security forces had combed the region in a deadly pursuit of pro-Biafran elements.
“Fifty years after the civil war, the time is now overripe for a fresh approach, including discussions and fruitful negotiations,” said the Ohaneze chieftain.
Also, Bianca Ojukwu, the widow of the ex-Biafran warlord Odumegwu Ojukwu urged the federal government to respect and adhere to the principles of the federal character to ensure equity in appointments.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of NAU, Charles Esimone, said the conference would bring about useful ideas and recommendations toward building an enduring peace in the country.