50 Years After Civil War: Soyinka, Utomi, Elder Statesmen Discuss Way Forward
Some eminent Nigerians including Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka and Professor Pat Utomi on Monday gathered at the Muson Centre in Lagos to discuss the way forward, 50 years after the Nigerian civil war.
Tagged ‘Never Again’, the event is aimed at reminiscing on the woes of the war which ended in January 1970 and adjudged as one of the worst scenarios of civil rife across the world.
In his address, Prof Anya Anya, who is the chairman of the occasion believes violence cannot provide the solution to the problems facing the nation.
According to him, Nigeria must learn from the mistakes of the past and what some say was a failure of leadership.
He added that Nigeria was not the only country that has gone through such a situation as the civil war, stressing that losing a war was not necessarily a badge of failure.
One of the organisers of the event, Major General Obi Umahi (rtd), said history must be brought back into the nation’s education and school syllabus.
He explained that the aim of the conference was to sensitise Nigerians on the need for forgiveness, healing, and national cohesion.
General Umahi urged Nigerians to see the present situation in the country as a moment for national reflection, stressing that there was an urgent need to build bridges of unity and peace.
Giving his keynote address, Professor Pat Utomi highlighted the collapse of culture as one of the major problems of the country.
He, therefore, called for urgent attention and a joint effort to fix the problem.
Also delivering his keynote address, Professor Soyinka spoke about democracy and the need to allow it to thrive in the country.
On security, the Nobel laureate declared his support for the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as ‘Amotekun’.
He described the security outfit as a pleasant New Year gift, saying it has shown that the yearnings of Nigerians prevailed.
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