Joe Effiong, Uyo,
A Biafran war veteran, Major-General Okon E. Okon (retd), has warned that the problems which led to the Nigeria-Biafra War in the 60s are still prevalent and threatening the unity of the country.
Gen. Okon who said Nigerians had refused to learn from history, made the comment during the public presentation of his book “Biafra War Revisited: Civil War May Not Be a Bad Thing,” in Uyo.
According to him, Nigerians have not properly studied books written by authors on the war which spanned between 1967 and 1970 to know the factors and causes which led to the pogrom so as to avoid such calamity in future.
“In a given society, there will always be issues in contention. When there are issues in contention, people will always find ways of resolving them. It is only when the same issues continue to repeat themselves that the study of the past becomes necessary to prevent the same thing from happening.
“However, in Nigeria, it does appear we have learnt nothing from the war because the same things are almost repeating themselves primarily because we have not learnt any lesson from that war,” Okon said.
The war veteran urged Nigerians to undertake a holistic and dispassionate study of the history of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war so as to ask pertinent questions and seek answers to guide the nation on the way forward.
“Fifty years after the end of the war is just the beginning. That is just when the situation reports are beginning to sink in. The Nigeria-Biafra War as far as I am concerned is a recent war; so hopefully, with writings like this, we will get more snippets to be able to find out what really happened.
“The interest now is that the generation that was not born when the war was fought should be able to have the knowledge of what happened.
“What I have done is to attempt to bridge the gap between fiction and reality. I have searched through various literature; I have read every book on the war,” he said.