A former Minister of Health, Professor A.B.C. Nwosu, Friday, disagreed with former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, over his recent comment that the late Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, underestimated him by thinking that he (Gowon) would never go to war.
Gowon, who led Nigerian forces to defeat Ojukwu’s army during the Nigerian civil war from 1967-1970, had while speaking at the Diamond Jubilee Lecture of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday, said he was known to be a ‘Born Again’ Christian and Ojukwu, who was the then Premier of the Eastern Region, thought his region could secede from Nigeria without consequences because he thought he (Gowon) would not want to go to war.
But Professor Nwosu, a prominent member of Ime-Obi Ohanaeze Ndigbo, reacting to the general’s comment in Enugu, yesterday, condemned in strong terms attempts to demonize the late Biafran leader who passed on three years ago.
He said: “I wish to express my growing concern over attempts to demonize Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu who died more than three years ago. These posthumous comments on Ojukwu are at best ungentlemanly and anti-Igbo culture. Ndigbo don’t speak of the dead flippantly.
“The latest comment by General Yakubu Gowon which was published in some national dailies on Friday, May 15, 2015 that Ojukwu never imagined that he would go to war because he was a ‘Born Again’ Christian is appalling and naïve. Did the General not also underestimate Ojukwu and Biafra? The book by General Alabi Isama tells a different story.
“Ndigbo worldwide shared this my concern because earlier General Gowon had given his opinion on the Aburi Accord, which differs completely with the opinion of Ndigbo and Ojukwu on the same Aburi Accord.
“There are always two sides to a story and fairness demands that the two sides should always be weighed side by side. Ndigbo would prefer that all the leading actors who did or did not do anything during that tragic period of the nation’s history should spare us their self- serving comments because most of us have bad memories of those years of massacre, pogrom and the Civil War.
“Let the healing process which began in 1970 through Shagari’s pardon for Ojukwu and Ojukwu’s burial under President Jonathan be allowed to run its course so that future generations will not carry the murderous burdens of their elders.”
Nwosu, however, admonished that “since we are all Christians, we should be content to leave judgment to the Almighty God who shall judge the living and the dead.”