. . . Says Civil War, a National Tragedy, Warns against Ethnic Discrimination
By Precious Ukeje
The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, members of his cabinet and residents of Umuahia, last Monday received the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to the state, and took him round the famous National War Museum, Umuahia, which was established to preserve the relics of the Nigerian Civil War and serve as a memorial to the soldiers, civilians and other casualties of the Civil War, as well as other conflicts in Nigeria.
The Vice President, who later joined the people in a town hall meeting, described the Civil War as a defining national tragedy that required a robust national conversation to aid the process of healing and reconciliation.
The Vice President added that in the 50 years post-Civil War, the country had invested in national integration, peace building and reconciliation.
Noting that it had been a lot less than perfect, he submitted however, that even with challenges, those setbacks should not induce hopelessness or despondency.
Osinbajo noted that the generations born after the Civil War were navigating the adventure of being Nigerian on different terms from their forebears.
‘By intermarrying, migrating and coming in the quest for love and livelihood, they are forging alliances in business, civil society and politics,’ he added.
Furthermore, the Vice President said it was their mission to build a nation that worked for all, even though nation building was hard work as bringing together a multiplicity of ethnicities under one banner was an onerous but necessary task.
‘The last 50 years belonged to us, but the next 50 belong to our children and we must unshackle them from the ghosts of ancient grudges and grievances.
‘By their conduct, our children show us that it is possible to forge friendships. Let us give them a chance to do better than ourselves,’ Osinbajo said.
The Vice President in optimism said he believed that together, Nigeria would prevail.