President Muhammadu Buhari, has said that he “saw first-hand the unspeakable horrors of war, not just from fellow soldiers from both sides but from civilians, innocent children, women and the elderly left behind,” during the civil war.
Buhari spoke virtually from Aso Villa as chairman of the 12th Bola Tinubu Colloquium, “Our Common Wealth: The Imperative of National Cohesion for Growth and Prosperity’’, to celebrate the 69th birthday of the naional leader of he ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, in Kano.
He said, “Despite occasional inter-ethnic tensions in our national history, it seems to me that we have all agreed on one point , that notwithstanding our diversity or ethnicity, culture, language and religion, Nigerians are better, even stronger together.
“Asiwaju (Tinubu) himself is a known advocate of unity and cohesion in Nigeria. This has been a constant factor in his outstanding political career from the time he served in the short-lived Senate in the Third Republic to his involvement in the struggle for the actualisation of the June 12 mandate of the late Chief MKO Abiola to his much acclaimed years of service as the governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007.
“I can also relate personally to the ideals of One Nigeria. As a military officer, I have served with great comrades from all the nooks and crannies of our country.
“In the course of my career, I have also been opportuned to serve in all parts of Nigeria, seeing first-hand the enticing possibilities of a strong, united nation.
“More importantly, I fought for the unity of Nigeria during the civil war – 1967 to 1970, and I saw first-hand the unspeakable horrors of war, not just from fellow soldiers from both sides but from civilians, innocent children, women and the elderly left behind.
“As we all know, the peace-keeping recovery and reconstruction that followed could also not have succeeded under an atmosphere of inter-ethnic animosity. We must count our blessings in Nigeria and see in them the crucial factors of peace and unity.”