A former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah and others have said that Nigeria has not learnt from the mistakes that led to the civil war in 1967.
They said this at a webinar hosted by Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo Think Tank, in partnership with Ovation International and Njenje Media.
At the webinar titled, ‘The 2nd Never Again Conference: 51 years after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war,’ Obi said the country is still travelling on the same road that leads to destruction.
He said, “We are still travelling on the same road to the same destination. The road has got more bumpy, worse than it was than when they (Nigerians) travelled that road before. If you compare what is happening today and what happened then, what brought Nigeria to that destination in the past has actually got worse today.
“All of those things that made them to participate in what happened are still very much today and getting worse, starting from incompetent leadership with total lack of capacity and character.
You have a situation where corruption is worse today than it was then. Unemployment is far worse today when you have millions of young people in their productive age not knowing where the next meal would come from and the government is not thinking.”
Obi stated that the country cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different answer, adding that incompetent leadership is the major factor preventing the country from moving forward.
The keynote speaker at the event, Kukah, stated that the civil war did not teach Nigeria any lesson.
He said, “I was told of a late general who said were the civil war to occur again, he would fight on the other side. There is a lot of resentment, anxiety and frustration and the feeling is that we have not learnt any lesson.”
Kukahb added that good governance, honesty, commitment, devotion, dedication, focus and right leadership form part of the solution to the problems bedeviling the country.
“About 51 years after the war, we still hear the kind of agitation that ordinarily with good governance, honesty, commitment, devotion, dedication, focus and right leadership; we should have put behind us. Unfortunately, these anxieties are still with us,” he added.
The webinar had prominent economist, Prof Pat Utomi, as the chairman, planning committee.
Others that spoke at the webinar include; the leader of Afenifere, Ayo Adebanjo, elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai; and leader of the Indegenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.