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Biafra: You Must Apologise To Ndigbo – Ohanaeze Faction Tackles Gowon

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Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo has called on former military dictator General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) to tender an apology to the people of the Southeast for the Biafra war, which claimed over three million Igbo lives.

Naija News recalls that Gowon (on the Nigerian side) and Colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (on the Biafran side) were behind the ‘Biafra War,’ which lasted from 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970.

Speaking after a recent visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Gowon, who ruled Nigeria between 1966 and 1975, had recalled how they said he could not prosecute the civil war because he was slow.

He said, “If I can remember, when I was fighting the war, I was told I was too slow and that probably Nigeria cannot make it and that we should now seek for discussion. Well, did we do it or not? They probably do not know the problem underground, so that is where we are.”

In reaction to Gowon’s statement, the Secretary-General of a faction of Ohanaeze, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, called for a direct and resolute reconciliation and healing of the “wounds of war.”

In a statement entitled “Best Time for Gowon to Apologize to Igbos now he’s alive, and to Heal the Wounds of the War Forever. OHANAEZE NDIGBO Tells Gowon,” the group said Gowon reiterating his version of events during the Biafra War over the past 54 years is a source of great distress to the Igbo people.

It stated that Gowon’s steadfast refusal to acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by the war displays a lack of empathy and a failure to grasp the gravity of his role in that dark period of Nigeria’s history.

According to Ohanaeze, Gowon must rise above personal pride and historical revisionism to elicit genuine healing and unity.

The statement reads: “The comments attributed to General Gowon following his visit to President Bola Tinubu on February 21, 2024, have once again reopened deep wounds and inflicted profound hurt upon the Igbo nation, both within Nigeria and across the diaspora. We note with concern the inflammatory nature of Gowon’s statements and the deliberate targeting of the collective Igbo psyche.

“The continued insistence of General Gowon on reiterating his version of events during the Biafra War over the past 54 years is a source of great distress to the Igbo people. We challenge Gowon to reflect on his actions and recognize the need for reconciliation and repentance. His steadfast refusal to acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by the war displays a lack of empathy and a failure to grasp the gravity of his role in that dark period of our history.

“OHANAEZE NDIGBO boldly asserts that Gowon’s survival for over five decades, despite the loss of over 3 million Igbo lives during the war, presents him with a unique opportunity for redemption and reconciliation. As a professed Christian, we implore Gowon to heed the call of conscience and take the necessary steps to seek forgiveness from the Igbo people by acknowledging his mistakes, revealing the truth behind the Aburi Accord, and issuing a sincere apology.

“General Gowon must rise above personal pride and historical revisionism to elicit genuine healing and unity in our nation. His failure to exhibit contrition and his repeated insensitive comments undermine the reconciliation efforts of the Igbo people, who have demonstrated forgiveness and a commitment to national development.

“OHANAEZE NDIGBO calls on General Yakubu Gowon to seize this pivotal moment to discard the relics of the past, embrace humility, and offer a long-overdue apology to the Igbo community. By doing so, Gowon can pave the way for genuine reconciliation, foster a climate of understanding and forgiveness, and facilitate lasting peace and harmony in our dear nation.”



George Oshogwe Ogbolu is a Digital Media Strategist | Content Writer | Journalist | New Media Influencer | Proofreader and Editor at Naija News.