A university lecturer, Prof. Hope Eghagha, warned on Wednesday in Lagos that Nigeria should avoid tendencies that would escalate to another war after the bitter experience of the Biafra civil war. Eghagha made the plea while reviewing a book, “The Nigerian Civil War, 50 Years After… Reflections of A Younger Generation’’ during the launch of the book.
He told Nigerians to shun propaganda and hate speeches, to prevent a re-occurrence of the events that led to the war in 1967. Analysts have often described the Biafra civil war as the deadliest of its type in Africa, having taken the lives of more than two million people. Citing the Rwandan genocide, Eghagha, a lecturer at the University of Lagos, said: “Propaganda breeds hate, the civil war was not a pleasant experience as codes of interpersonal behaviour were suspended.
“Anyone who has gone through a war cannot hope for another, a child that goes through a war loses his childhood. “We should not promote the ideology of war by narrative or default. “From the refugee crisis being experienced internationally, the world cannot afford a war in Nigeria,” he said.
Eghagha praised the authors of the book, saying that they did an excellent job in bringing to light narratives from the civil war as well as the reconciliation efforts of subsequent regimes. The Chairman of the occasion, Mr Chris Ogiemwonyi, described the book as a proof that combat should never be an option to settling national differences. “There is a Bini proverb which literally translated means ‘war is never beautiful.’
For those asking for war or the country’s separation, they should bear that proverb in mind. “We should never pray for war no matter how hard the discussion will be.” Giving insight into the book, Ogiemwonyi, an engineer, said the book was an assemblage of facts from the war. “We have read various accounts of the Nigerian civil war from warlords, politicians and eye-witnesses. “This account is a compilation of facts as witnessed by victims, who saw part of the war.
“I will equally like to corroborate the facts as I also witnessed the civil war as a form three student in 1967. “The book mentioned a time in Nigeria where tribalism was not an issue. However, with successive coups and the civil war, things started falling apart. “The Nigerian civil war brought various hardships to the country,” Ogiemwonyi said.
The book was written by Ebho Abure and Agbose Akinwole. In a remark, Abure urged Nigerians to read the book and give their feedback, saying that the objective of the book was to create a better union in Nigeria.