Prominent Nigerians Call for Caution to Prevent Another Civil War
By Georges Macnobleson-Idowu
Former Military Head of State, Gen Yakubu Gowon, has urged Nigerians to ensure they avert another civil war in Nigeria.
Gowon said leaders and citizens must create enabling platforms for dialogue and proffer ideas on how to live together in peace and harmony for the good of all.
The former Head of state stated this at the ‘Never Again’ Conference organised by the Nzuko Umunna and Ndigbo Lagos, to mark 50years since the end of the Nigerian civil war.
He said “we must do all in our power, as responsible leaders and citizens of this great nation, to create enabling platforms for dialogue, and proffer ideas on how we can live together in peace and harmony for the good of all Nigerians and the black race, as a whole, to ensure political, economic, security and development of the country.”
One of the keynote speaker at the event and Professor of Political Economics, Pat Utomi, had earlier insisted that Nigeria would not be in existence, if the Biafra Civil war was fought in the present day.
Prof Utomi explained that Nigeria may not exist, due to the recognition given to self-determination by the international community.
Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, who was also a keynote speaker at the conference, and Prof Banji Akintoye, on their part, lamented that Nigeria has not learnt any lesson from the civil war.
Prof Soyinka however, described the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as ‘Amotekun’ as a desirable New Year gift.
The Nobel laureate, who noted that he had earlier given up on the political leadership of the region until the launch of the security outfit, said the initiative has shown that the yearnings of Nigerians prevailed.
On his part, Prof Akintoye, warned that the mood in Nigeria was similar to the mood in the country months before the civil war began in 1967.
He said to avoid impending danger, Nigeria must restructure with the objective of giving the country a true and generally acceptable federal structure under which the present sections of the country would be able to develop their resources.
Also, speaking on the sideline of the conference, the President Yoruba Council of Youth Worldwide, Dotun Hassan, applauded state governors across the southwest for establishing operation Amotekun, to deal with the incessant security challenges in the region.
He said Operation Amotekun emanated from the Youth Council’s consistent deliberation for a strong grass root community policing ideology.
Hassan however, believed that the stakeholders still need to revalidate the core vision of the Operation, to ensure an effective community policing in the region.
Others prominent Nigerians at the event include President-General, Ndigbo Lagos, Maj. Gen. Obi Umahi (retd.); Director-General, Northern Elders’ Forum, Prof. Yima Sen; Senate Minority Leader, Enyinaya Abaribe and Mr Akin Osuntokun.