Igbo Leader Urges Apology for Gowon’s War Statement, Citing Potential Crisis

Igbo Leader Urges Apology for Gowon’s War Statement, Citing Potential Crisis

Charles Okechukwu Okereke, a former governorship candidate of the Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP) in Abia State, has advised former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, to issue an immediate apology to the Igbo nation and Nigerians as a whole for his recent statement at the Aso Rock Villa.

Okereke believes that an apology from Gowon would help alleviate the offense caused by his remarks and soothe the concerns of the people. The former Head of State was quoted as saying, “I know and if I can remember, when I was fighting the war, I was told I was too slow and probably Nigeria cannot make it and that we should seek discussion. Well, did we do it or not?”

In an interview with Vistanaij Media in Umuahia, Okereke, expressing his opinion as an elder statesman, advised Gen. Gowon to refrain from making statements that could trigger painful memories of the past war for the Igbo people and other Nigerians. He emphasized that, considering the severe economic hardship Nigerians are currently facing, negative words from a prominent figure like Gowon could incite further outrage.

Okereke further criticized Gowon for comparing his military administration with that of President Bola Tinubu. According to Okereke, Gowon’s decision to create a 12-state structure instead of implementing the agreement he signed with Odumegwu Ojukwu before the civil war is responsible for the ongoing crises in the nation.

“Why is he comparing himself with Tinubu? He should retire and not remind us of what has been forgotten. He owes Ndigbo and Nigerians an apology, and he should do it now,” Okereke asserted.

He also highlighted the differences between Gowon’s military junta and Tinubu’s civilian administration, dismissing the validity of Gowon’s “3Rs” (Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, and Reconciliation) slogan. Okereke questioned why Gowon would compare himself to Tinubu when the circumstances and manner of their leadership differ significantly.

Regarding the ongoing constitutional amendments in Nigeria, Okereke pointed out that they indicate underlying issues inherited by subsequent administrations from the Nigeria that Gen. Gowon left behind. He criticised Gowon for suggesting that hungry Nigerians do not fully comprehend the underlying problems.

Okereke firmly stated that Gen. Gowon’s military administration failed to reconcile Nigerians and therefore lacks the qualifications to provide advice to a civilian government.

 

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