Presidency: Civil War, Warning against Aggressive Regionalism, Ethnicity

Garba Shehu

Pays tributes to victims

Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

The presidency thursday reflected on 50 years of the end of the civil war, describing it as a warning against aggressive regionalism and ethnicity.

In a statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, the presidency paid tributes to victims of the civil war, saying the tragedy of the war would not only continuously linger in the country’s memory, but would not also be forgotten.

It advocated the need for all to share a common memory of the war with a view to projecting a future free from the danger of sectarianism.

It said: “As the nation commemorates 50 years of the end of the nation’s tragic civil war today, we remember the victims of the conflict and honour those on both sides that lost their lives.

“The tragedy shall be neither forgotten nor repeated. The war serves as a potent warning on the dangers of aggressive regionalism, ethnic baiting and political corruption.

“In it, we must forge common memory that can serve as a bridge to a future free from the ravages of sectarianism.”
The statement also said reflecting on the past today had become imperative because it provided the opportunity to learn useful lessons to shape the future.
It noted that there were yet certain individuals who by their actions and utterances failed to learn from the past, imploring such persons to embrace moderation in their speeches.

Recalling the proclamation of “no victor, no vanquished,” at the end of the war, the statement said one way the nation could ensure that victims of the war did not die in vain was by promoting unity among its citizens.

“We remember the past to draw its lessons on how we move forward together and live in peace. Unfortunately, there are some, who fail to recognise them and instead repeat its mistakes, preaching inflammatory rhetoric meant only to divide.

“We call on all leaders and parties to moderate their language.

“There were no victors in this war. Yet in rejecting division and embracing unity, we ensure those lives lost were not in vain,” the presidency said.