Igbo President will help heal civil war… GOWON

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A former Military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), said on Wednesday that an Igbo president would help heal the civil war wounds, maintaining that he supports the idea of rotational presidency

Gowon said this while delivering a lecture entitled “No Victor, No Vanquished: Healing the Nigerian Nation” to mark the 6th Convocation ceremony of the Chukwumeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam, in Anambra.

He explained that the civil war was not out of hatred for the late Igbo leader Odumegwu Ojukwu or the Igbos, but was based on the principle of a commitment to a robust Nigeria.

“It is wrong to conclude that the civil war broke out following the failure of the Aburi Accord but was the direct result of a unilateral decision of independence for Eastern Nigeria.

“If there was no seccession, there would have been no war.

“It was a reluctant war waged to unite the country,” Gowon explained.

He acknowledged that many people died of hunger and diseases during the period but maintained that the Federal Government ensured that starvation was not used as a weapon of war.

Gowon said that Nigerians should be proud of the gains of the war through the healing balm of “no victor, no vanquished.”

According to him, the three Rs of reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction were adopted to enhance national unity.

He also argued that the abandonment of the development plan drafted immediately after the war by successive governments, resulted in the infrastructural decay in the country.

The former head of state, however, lauded Ojukwu for his courage in defending his people during the war, saying: “if Ojukwu were in my shoes, he would have equally waged the war.”

He also commended the Anambra government and management of the university for honouring Ojukwu with the change in name of the institution from Anambra State University to COOU.

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, who lauded Gowon for honouring the invitation, said education was dear to his administration.

Represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, Obiano said that a blue print for the development of higher education would soon be implemented in the state.

“Infrastructure, students’ welfare as well as teachers and lecturers’ welfare are important tools for developing the education sector of the state.

“This administration has increased the salaries of teachers in rural areas by 20 per cent and has approved extra N3, 000 for teachers who teach core subjects,’’ Obiano said.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Fidelis Okafor, said that the lecture was designed to honour Ojukwu and give opportunity to Gowon to clear the air on the civil war.

The university will, on March 26, hold its convocation ceremony at the Igbariam campus. (NAN)


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17 Responses

  1. Posted on January 11, 2010 at 8:46 am | Yes, we won’t argue it. Anambra simply did not enjoy the kind of stuats you and your fellow Anambra Igbo always want to convey, until colonialism. Yes, Nri was a large *spiritual* empire (like catholicism), and it did trading, primarily through Oka, but Nri’s influence stops short at the Imo-Anambra border. Beyond that, Nri has no non-ceremonial jurisdiction in any other lectal group near or far from it. The Eze Nri can only rule in Nri. No where else. So what if Onicha is by the riverbank? Is it the only group that is near strategic bodies of water? Yes, they treaded with Edo, and Igala, but Onicha has no jurisdiction in any other lectal group’s territory. All the glorious things done in the past by Anambra Igbo only affected you guessed it, themselves. Anambra has no right to call itself the capital of Igbo, or consider its various tongues as the most important because of two reasons . 1. There never was on Igbo nation until post colonial era. 2. Anambra is not the homeland of Igbo people, because Igbo people are of heterogenous origin. So, Anambra cannot claim anything for the Igbo. Everything done in your people’s past was not done for the Igbo’. In fact, if I remember correctly, you all even had contempt for the Igbo’ (Onicha Dispises All, so the story goes about the origin of your name). Your people even refused to be referred to as Igbo, until recently.Now, if indeed your famed dialect is/was truly as important as you say, then how come there is no uniform Anambra speech? The Oka lect is noticibly different from other Anambra lects, and the same applies to all other Anambra lects. In fact, Onicha lect has more in common with delta Igbo than those in Anambra (from the much I know). If Anambra lect was so important how come the rest of us don’t speak it? How come the rest of us didn’t even know of the existence of Nri until the near end of the slave era? Where is the evidence of your influence in non-Anambra area (excluding your delta Igbo brethern)?Yes, Ngwa simply sounds beautiful in my ear. The tonal rises and fall have a way of unformly arranging themselves in such a way that the speech is like spoken song. The aspirations carry an air of dominance, and the nasalization carries with it a peculiar feeling of arrogance (at least, in my ear it does). Ngwa has the privilege of sounding beautifully and unappologetically rough, and masculine. Anambra lects (maybe with the exception of Oka) tend to sound light and careful, and when I hear them, I can’t help but think What exactly are you afraid of? C’mon now, just speak . And the conversions of f to p, or l to n, or h to r, and even l to r, and the lack of v in Onicha is sometimes annoying to hear, and speak (at least to me it is). Then there’s the conjugations, which I sometimes find funny. Anyway, the Anambra lect (except maybe Oka) aren’t peculiar like Ngwa. I love the sound of Ngwa.As for your second reply. It isn’t the sense of pride that the rest of Igbo has a problem with. Rather it is the unmeritted sense of superiority and importance. It is so bad that some of you seem to feel that you can speak for the rest of Igbo, and that the rest of Igbo actually cares to hear what you all have to say. Don’t misunderstand us, though, because no one is saying that you can’t be proud. It’s just that we don’t care for your self-meritted feelings of superiority. As if to say that you are just that important within the Igbo community, when you all just simply aren’t.

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