Warns against Civil War


Following a recent threat to Ndigbo community in the North, Nigeria has been described as a country continuously making mistakes as a result of its refusal to learn the lessons of history from crisis that followed the annulment of the June 12, 1993, election adjudged as the fairest ever in the history of the country, which was won by late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola.

The National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who made the assertion yesterday in a June 12 commemorative statement, wondered why those behind the anti-Igbo quit notice threat acted as though they are oblivious of its implications on Nigeria, particularly if such degenerate into another civil war. “We have fumbled and wobbled through 18 years of pretending that our unity is settled, mouthing hackneyed phrases like ‘indissoluble union’ and ‘non-negotiable unity’, while the country falls more and more into pieces on a daily basis. We now mark another June 12 amid an October 1 quit order to Ndigbo by Arewa youths who have also secured endorsement from the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), with the Arewa Consultative Forum conceding what they called ‘the frustrations of the youths’ with Ndigbo.

“While the primary targets of the Arewa youths’ quit notice are the Ndigbo residents in the North, we are not deceived that when the rubber hits the road, the Almajaris and the Mujaheedin would pick and choose among all southerners in the North for the baying of blood. This is why the Yoruba nation is warning that this is a déjà vu and that no country has ever survived two civil wars.

“We recall how events cascaded in the 1960’s from the moment emergency rule was imposed on the Western Region until war broke out in 1967. The same arrogance of power, insensitivity and atrocious impunity that were at play then are still very much at play today. The same section of Nigeria that rejected the outcome of Aburi is still shouting down the strident calls of most peoples of Nigeria for restructuring today, because command and control is more important to them than equity, justice, fairness, peaceful co-existence, harmony and a progressing country.

“A climate of fear, apprehension and anxiety now pervades the country as no one knows what could happen, with the absence of a leadership that can rise up to the occasion to save the republic,” the Afenifere spokesperson lamented.

In a separate but similar reaction, the Nigerian National Summit Group (NNSG), warned that Nigerians should not forget in a hurry the harrowing pains the last civil war inflicted on the country.

The NNSG Executive Secretary, Tony Uranta, referred to the call by the Arewa youths as “treason” capable of causing another civil war in Nigeria.

“I am shocked by, and outraged at, this brazen and public act of treason that could, at the very least, trigger a pogrom against all non-northern Nigerian, and at worst, throw Nigeria into a civil war!  We must never forget how the 1966 pogrom in the North eventually threw Nigeria into the costly civil war that lasted for 30 months nor can we deny the avoidable calamities it has wrought on our country since the war ended,” he said.