UMBRELLA body of Igbo living in Lagos, the Ndigbo Lagos, has described as unnecessary the flickering controversies trailing Professor Chinua Achebe’s comments in his new book, “There was a country,” that late Chief Obafemi Awolowo was part of General Yakubu Gowon’s cabinet that initiated pogrom and genocide as a policy that killed millions of Igbos especially children during the civil war.
At a time Igbo and Yoruba leaders of the South-East and South-West as well as their counterparts in the South-South were forging an alliance and hammering out solutions to the country’s protracted socio-economic, political and developmental problems, the Professor Anya O. Anya-led group said what was needed now was sustaining the unfolding harmonious relations between the Igbo and Yoruba nations.
“Ndigbo Lagos deems the ongoing heated reactions to Elder statesman and world renowned writer, Prof Chinua Achebe’s personal chronicle of his experience during the civil war as being very unnecessary. The issue of what roles all actors on both sides played during the events leading to the unfortunate civil war and the prosecution of the war itself have for a long time been in the public space,” Ndigbo Lagos said in a statement by Chief Chuma Igwe, publicity secretary.
Noting that Chief Awolowo had spoken for himself in response to similar issue in 1983, Ndigbo Lagos said Awolowo’s response was enough to close the matter.
It said: “At this point in time the South-East, SouthSouth and South-West are in consultations working together for a better Nigeria to ensure that such a situation does not arise again. Ndigbo Lagos believes that the commendable quality of interpersonal relationship between Ndigbo and the Yoruba Nation should be sustained and translated into mutually beneficial political, social and cultural relationship for the progress of our country.
“The ongoing demand of the South-East for the creation of additional one state, the serious infrastructure deficit subsisting in our geopolitical zone and the Igbo Presidency project are areas Ndìgbo Lagos believes the South-West should come out with unequivocal support for the Ndigbo position.
“We should focus on how the two nations and indeed the entire South can cooperate to enthrone fairness, equity and justice in the Nigerian polity. That is the legacy we should aim at, moving forward.”