FIC Report (Abia State) – The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo has stated that the Nigeria’s greatest tribute to those who paid the supreme sacrifice of the war is to always ensure that the circumstances that led to the Nigerian civil war are never re enacted but to always ensure the use of dialogue in national deliberations.
Prof Osibanjo said this while speaking at the one day Town Hall Meeting to mark the 50th year Anniversary of the end of the Civil War convened by the Ken Nnamani Centre for Leadership and Development at the War Museum, Umuahia.
He described the civil war as a defining national tragedy that has scared Nigerians as an entity and has caused the loss of opportunities for national advancement with promising lives cut untimely at their primes, families disintegrated, unions ruptured, communities sacked and environments poisoned.
The VP reiterated that 50years after,the nation has invested in national integration, peace building, reconciliation and also called on all to be open minded as the nation’s historical mission is to build a sustainable quality, economic and social power house capable of powering the country and continent to prosperity and utmost development.
He re stressed the need to ensure fairness,justice and equity amongst all ethnic and religious groups and appealed to elders to refrain from poisoning the minds of the younger generations but rather spur them into taking the diverse opportunities available to them in the country as well as enable their visions and aspirations to flourish unhindered by the biases of the past years.
Prof Osibanjo , however, extolled the South East for being home for Nigeria’s most entrepreneurial sons and daughters adding that one of the challenges of the country is the provision of opportunities and hope for the teeming Youths whom he described as energetic and dynamic.
Without mincing words, he restated Federal Government commitment to provide Nigerian Youths with tools and resources that will enable them achieve the best lives through collaboration with Donor Agencies.
Earlier in his address, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu appealed to the Federal government to accord special considerations to areas that suffered serious bombardment in Abia State and South East zone during the Nigerian/Biafra civil war.
The Governor stressed the need for a true national narrative where events of the war can be reviewed to chart a way forward for national unity. In his own words “Nigerians need to know where their problems started so as to heal the scars and relics in their hearts.”
The Governor extolled the Ken Nnamani Leadership and Development Centre for organising the meeting adding that the Foundation is in a vantage position to gather what really happened so that we can say sorry to one another and as well say Never Again.
In a goodwill message, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma called for a genuine national reconciliation as a deliberate strategy for moving forward as a nation.
The Organiser of the meeting and former Senate President, Sen. Ken Nnamani said the event is a very significant milestone in our lives as a nation and described it as an occasion for sobre reflections.
He stressed that the Centre thought it appropraite to organise an event that will bring together leaders and citizens to reflect on the war and its legacies while charting a course on our common future.
In a vote of thanks,the Minister of Mines and Steel Development (State) Dr. Uche Sampson Ogar thanked God for an opportunity for true national reconciliation.
The event featured an interactive session with the Vice President responding to an array of questions from the audience while two war Veterans also spoke about their experiences during the 30 months of the war.
Religious and Traditional Leaders, Students, Professional bodies, Associations, State/Federal Government Officials were present.
The chopper conveying Vice President Yemi Osinbajo touched down at the Central Police Station, Umuahia.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was joined by Deputy Governor Ude Oko Chukwu, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Umuahia Zonal Headquarters, Service Commanders and Heads of all Military and Para Military Formations in the State, to receive the August Visitor.
The Vice President was accompanied by the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogar, House of Representatives Member for Bende Federal Constituency, Hon. Ben Kalu