President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken on the 50th anniversary of the tragic Nigeria/Biafra Civil War, declaring that it remains a warning on the dangers of aggressive regionalism, ethnic baiting and political corruption.
The 1967-1970 war pitched the Nigerian government against the breakaway Eastern Region, with attendant massive loss of lives and property, mainly in the region.
A Presidency statement on Wednesday lamented that some Nigerians still do not want to learn from the costly mistakes of the war, as they have been lately preaching inflammatory rhetorics to divide the nation again.
The statement issued by senior presidential media assistant, Garba Shehu, therefore called on all leaders and parties to moderate their language, even as the nation strives to forge common memory that can “serve as a bridge to a future free from the ravages of sectarianism”.
The statement reads: “As the nation commentates 50 years of the end of the nation’s tragic civil war today, we remember the victims of the conflict and honour those on both sides that lost their lives. Their tragedy shall be neither forgotten nor repeated.
“The war serves as a potent warning on the dangers of aggressive regionalism, ethnic baiting and political corruption. In it, we must forge common memory that can serve as a bridge to a future free from the ravages of sectarianism.
“We remember the past to draw its lessons; on how we move forward together and live in peace. Unfortunately, there are some who fail to recognise them and instead repeat its mistakes, preaching inflammatory rhetoric meant only to divide. We call on all leaders and parties to moderate their language.
“There were no victors in this war. Yet in rejecting division and embracing unity, we ensure those lives lost were not in vain. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”