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Biafra war: Gowon’s choice of words, narrative insensitive, deeply hurtful – Ohanaeze

…Tells Gowon to apologise to Igbos

 

The former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon’s recent choice of words and narrative regarding the Biafra War has been descried as insensitive and deeply hurtful to the collective psyche of the Igbo people.

 

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has therefore, called on him to tender apology to Ndigbo for reopening old wounds that inflicted anguish upon the Igbo community, both at home and in the diaspora, now that he is still alive.

Ohanaeze gave the charge in a statement signed by its Secretary General Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro.

Gowon was alleged to have made inflammatory comments regarding the experiences of the Biafra war when he visited President Tinubu last week.

The statement reads, “In response to the incessant and inflammatory comments made by the Former HEAD OF STATE, General Yakubu Gowon, regarding the experiences of the Biafra War, OHANAEZE NDIGBO issues a resolute and imperative call for reconciliation and healing to be initiated by Gowon himself.

“The recent remarks attributed to Gowon following his visit to President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, February 2p1, 2024, have once again reopened old wounds and inflicted anguish upon the Igbo community, both at home and in the diaspora.

“It is evident that Gowon’s choice of words and narrative regarding the Biafra War has been insensitive and deeply hurtful to the collective psyche of the Igbo people.

“OHANAEZE NDIGBO unequivocally challenges General Gowon to reflect on his actions and the enduring consequences of the war. It is with unwavering conviction that we assert that the time has come for Gowon to take responsibility for his role in the tragic events of the past. His repetitive glorification of the suppression of the Biafran struggle does a disservice to national unity and healing.

“We remind General Gowon that his continued existence, especially amidst the over 3 million Igbo lives lost during the war, is a divine opportunity for him to seek redemption and offer genuine apologies for the pain and suffering inflicted upon the Igbo people.

“It is incumbent upon Gowon to acknowledge the atrocities, confess to any misdeeds, and sincerely apologise to the Igbo community for the role he played in the conflict.

“OHANAEZE NDIGBO emphasises that only through sincere reconciliation, rooted in genuine remorse and penitence, can lasting peace and harmonious co-existence be achieved in our nation.

“The endurance of the Igbo people, their forgiveness, and their commitment to national development are undeniable, yet the scars of the past persist as long as Gowon chooses to reopen old wounds with his insensitive comments.

“It is crucial for General Gowon to rise above personal pride and demonstrate true leadership by making amends for the sins of the past. As Igbos continue to contribute positively to the development of Nigeria and support the government of President Tinubu, it is incumbent upon Gowon to reciprocate by fostering an environment of healing and reconciliation through his actions and words.

“OHANAEZE NDIGBO implores General Yakubu Gowon to seize this rare opportunity to seek forgiveness, offer sincere apologies, and desist from further inflaming the painful memories of the Biafra War.

“It is time for Gowon to exhibit humility, righteousness, and empathy towards the victims of the war, thereby paving the way for genuine reconciliation and lasting peace in our beloved nation”.

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