By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah,
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has underscored the need for Nigerian leaders to give the younger generation the vision on a pathway to unity in diversity.
Prof. Osinbajo made the statement yesterday in Abuja at the colloquim on “Biafra: 50 years after’’ organized by the Yar’ Adua Foundation at the Shehu Musa Yar’ adua Centre, Abuja, where he spoke to a cross section of political leaders which include former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. John Nwodo, leader of Ohaneze, the Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization and Alhaji Ahmed Joda amongst other dignitaries that graced the occasion.
According to him, Introspection is probably what separates us from beasts as the ability to learn from history is perhaps the greatest defense from the avoidable pain of learning from experience, when history is a much gentler and kinder teacher.
Osinbajo said”As we reflect on this event today, we must ask ourselves the same question that many who have fought or been victims in civil wars, wars between brothers and sisters ask in moments of reflection….“what if we had spent all the resources, time and sacrifice we put into the war, into trying to forge unity? What if we had decided not to seek to avenge a wrong done to us? What if we had chosen to overcome evil with good?’’
“The truth is that the spilling of blood in dispute is hardly ever worth the losses. Of the fallouts of bitter wars is the anger that can so easily be rekindled by those who for good or ill want to resuscitate the fire. Today some are suggesting that we must go back to the ethnic nationalities from which Nigeria was formed.
“They say that secession is the answer to the charges of marginalization. They argue that separation from the Nigerian State will ultimately result in successful smaller States. They argue eloquently, I might add that Nigeria is a colonial contraption that cannot endure.
This is also the sum and substance of the agitation for Biafra. The campaign is often bitter and vitriolic, and has sometimes degenerated to fatal violence. Brothers and sisters permit me to differ and to suggest that we’re greater together than apart.”