Bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese, Mathew Kukah has said that Nigeria is yet to heal from the wounds of civil war.
The Catholic Bishop said this at the second edition of the ‘Never Again Conference: 51 years after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war’ on Thursday January 14. The event is the brainchild of Nzuko Umunna, a pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
According to Bishop Kukah, there are still reports of different kinds of agitations that ordinarily, with commitment, dedication, focus and the right leadership should have been put behind.
“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.”
Describing the Oputa panel which he was part of as “the best school I would ever hope to attend”, Bishop Kukah added that the coups and counter-coups which followed the civil war were more or less miniature civil wars by themselves because they threw up the same contradictions, anxieties and feeling of divisiveness across the country .
“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.
“We have not been able to forgive ourselves as a 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.”
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