•Awolowo defended his role before death
The raging war of words between South East and South West leaders over Prof Chinua Achebe’s personal account of the alleged role of the late elder statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, during the civil war has been described as unnecessary.
Reacting to the development in a statement, the Igbo in Lagos, under the aegis of Ndigbo Lagos, said that the roles played by the major actors in the civil war were no longer topical issues.
“The issue of what roles all actors on both sides played during the events leading to the unfortunate civil war and the prosecution of the war itself have for a long time been in the public space,” the organisation said.
Also, the Lagos-based Ndigbo reminded all that the late sage, Chief Awolowo, had addressed similar issues long before his death.
The group said: “Indeed the Punch newspaper of Monday, October 8, 2012 (http://www.punchng.com/news/for-the-record/my-role-in-the-civil-war-awolowo/), published the late elder statesman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s response to a similar issue in 1983, and that should close the matter. He had spoken for himself.”
Ndigbo in Lagos regretted that the controversy ensued when “the South-east, South-south and South-west are in consultations working together for a better Nigeria to ensure that such a situation does not arise again.”
They urged that “the commendable quality of interpersonal relationship between Ndigbo and the Yoruba nation should be sustained and translated into mutually beneficial political, social and cultural relationship for the progress of our country.”
Ndigbo in Lagos harped also on the need for the South West to back the South East’s demand for another state while both sides should forge a common front to move the nation forward.
The group added: “The ongoing demand of the Southeast for additional one state, the serious infrastructure deficit subsisting in our geopolitical zone and the Igbo presidency project are areas Ndigbo Lagos believe the Southwest should come out with unequivocal support for the Ndigbo position.
“In conclusion, we should focus on how the two nations and indeed the entire South can cooperate to enthrone fairness, equity and justice in the Nigerian polity. That is the legacy we should aim at moving forward.”