Presidential aspirant and former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a major step to strengthen the country’s unity.
He also urged the president to begin the process of national healing and reconciliation.
Moghalu, who addressed journalists in Abuja yesterday under the theme: “To Build a Nation, We Must Confront Our History,” said it was obvious that “Nigeria is a country at war with itself, and in a troubled search for nationhood.”
The presidential hopeful who is the convener of Moghalu4Nigeria said the crisis of insecurity and nationhood, evident in President Buhari’s recent controversial remarks about the security situation in the Southeast region in the context of the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970, and the strong response to his comments from within Nigeria and abroad resulting in the federal government’s ban of Twitter, was unfortunate.
To bring out the country from the present mess, which he blamed on injustice, Moghalu charged Buhari to quickly set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission comprising seven independent members of high reputation and relevant expertise, one from each geopolitical zone, and one international member assigned from the United Nations or from South Africa, both entities of which have extensive experience in TRC matters.
He said the commission should be given a six-month mandate “to examine specifically the events of January 1966 to January 1970.
invite witnesses, survivors and critical players still alive to make statements, and make findings and recommendations that will promote national reconciliation by turning historical memory into a positive force for mutual forgiveness and nation building.”
Moghalu, who contested the 2019 presidential election under the platform of Young Progressive Party (YPP), further urged the Nigerian leader to invite all secessionist agitation movements to a national dialogue in order to give them a hearing so as to address credible and verifiable grievances.
He said the Buhari administration should take concrete actions towards the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to begin the framing of a new constitution, with legislative support from the National Assembly, in collaboration with representatives of ethnic nationalities, traditional rulers, the clergy, and civil society.
Moghalu, who is also a lawyer, said he is not a career politician, and called for the recognition of May 30 as a national holiday to remember the millions who died in the Nigerian civil war.
He told Buhari to also appoint a panel of historians, with equal representation from the northern and southern parts of Nigeria to review and agree on a curriculum of contemporary national history, including the Nigerian Civil War, to be taught in primary and secondary institutions from the specific perspective of lessons learned, national healing and reconciliation.