The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese, Rev. Mattew Kukah has noted that the wounds of the Nigerian Civil War haven’t healed and it’s affecting the growth of the nation.
Speaking at the ‘Never Again Conference: 51 Years After The Nigerian-Biafran War’ a Virtual event organized by Nzuko Umunna, a pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization and anchored by Ovation International and Njenje Media, Bishop Kukah said that despite years after the end of the Civil war, there are different kinds of agitation that ordinarily commitment, dedication, focus mixed with the right leadership should have addressed.
At the Virtual conference hosted by veteran Media gurus, Chief Dele Momodu, and Maazi Tochuckwu Ezeoke, the Fiery preacher lamented that no lessons seemed to have been learnt from past events. He said that so many people he had met that fought the war are full of regrets.
He said; “I have met a lot of people who fought the war who are full of regrets. There is a lot of resentment, anxiety, and frustration that we have not learnt any lessons.
“Fifty-one years after the war, we are still hearing the kind of agitations that ordinarily, with commitment, dedication, focus, and the right leadership, we should have put a lot of the anxieties behind us. Unfortunately, they are still with us.”
The Bishop recalled and described Oputa panel as the best school he hoped to attend, noting that he was privileged to be part of it.
“Oputa panel managed to generate quite a lot of data and information that academicians and policymakers would have used to ensure we erect the signpost saying, ‘Never Again’, because it gave us an opportunity, a mirror to look at ourselves after hearing from all sides but we didn’t have the discipline to follow through.”
Also, Kukah stated that we have not been able to forgive ourselves as people, noting that the coups and counter-coups, which he described as more or less smaller versions of civil wars because they threw up the same contradictions, anxieties, and divisiveness that characterized the Nigerian-Biafran War.
“We have not been able to forgive ourselves as people. The wounds of the civil war have not been able to heal. Coups and counter-coups that followed were more or less miniature civil wars by themselves because they threw up the same contradictions, anxieties, and feeling of divisiveness across the country.” he said.
Other participants on the Virtual Zoom Conference includes Prof. Pat Utomi, Music veteran, Mrs Onyeka Owenu, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu, Mrs Ankio Briggs, Senator Shehu Sani
Chief Mbazulike Amechi, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Ambassador Godknows Igali, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, Mrs Charity Shekari, Mr Peter Obi, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed amongst others.
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