General Yakubu Gowon (retd.), the Head of State that prosecuted the Nigerian civil war, has asked agitators for Biafra to think twice before engaging in another similar enterprise, the first having claimed about three million lives.
SUNDAY PUNCH reports, quoted the former Head of State, who, himself, was overthrown through a military coup in 1975 after nine years in power, as saying that Ndigbo, should do everything to avoid another of such suffering.
The report is coming amid the concern of the international community on the issue, with the British Government, asking for the whereabouts of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who has not been seen since soldiers of the Nigerian Army, allegedly raided his father’s premises, where he resided since his release on bail by the Federal High Court, Abuja, where he was standing trial for treason.
Nonetheless, Gowon, who was said to have spoken to the newspaper in an exclusive interview, after an event organised by “Nigeria Prays” a Non-Governmental Organisation in Abuja, Saturday, the eve of Nigeria’s 57th independence anniversary, urged caution in the entire saga.
While describing those behind the resurgence of agitations for Biafra as lacking a sense of history, he was quoted as saying: “Those who think of causing problems for Nigeria should, for God’s sake, think twice. I think we have had Biafra before and it has ended. Don’t resurrect it. Think of the sufferings of the people in those days, don’t recreate it because any leader will not want to be a party to dismembering the country.
“All those who are calling for disintegration, let them think twice. Let them ask, will the authorities accept it? I can assure you I did not accept it and that is the reason why when it was threatened; we had to do something which we didn’t like to do because we know the sufferings of the people.”
On his thoughts for Nigeria at 57, he said, “My prayer to all Nigerians is for them not to think of self interest by pushing for the disintegration of the nation which we had shed blood to sustain. It is more valuable to me than anything and I will certainly not be a party to or support anyone who is fomenting trouble.”
He also asked if the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was born during the civil war, adding, “I understand that you were one of those who were supporting one Nigerian in the United Kingdom, for God’s sake, don’t foment trouble which is dangerous for this country. I will like him to consult Ebele, Ojukwu’s daughter, to know the way we related with Ojukwu; I want to see love among all Nigerians.”