Fifty-one years after the war ended, the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has demanded an apology over the wanton destruction of lives and properties of Ndigbo during the civil war.
Dr. Ikpeazu, who spoke during a studio visit to TOS TV Network, a digital Pan-African news network in Abuja, however threw his weight behind the agitation by the indigenous peoples of Biafra, IPOB.
Gov Ikpeazu who faulted the strategy being deployed by IPOB noted however that that the Ndigbo has not been fairly treated in the country.
He insisted that the destructive strategy of IPOB was a recipe for the breakdown of law and order in the South East geopolitical zone.
He said, “Who is going to tell us what happened during the civil way, who did what and why? Why can’t some people come and tell us we are very sorry for what we did? You can’t sweep certain things under the carpet.
“The tension is palpable and this is the time for us to open up as those who love the country. I speak this way because I spent 7 years in the University of Maiduguri. I have gone through all part of northern Nigeria and I understand this country.
“I feel sad that the strings that hold us together are gradually giving way. The NYSC has collapsed. You are bottling up people and if you have too many people and if you have too many atoms in an enclosure and you apply pressure you are creating a bomb.
“That is exactly what is happening. We have become very agitated as a people. We have to call a spade a spade no matter whose ox is formed.
“Some of the issues raised by Nnamdi were issues of injustice, marginalisation, inequality whether it is gender, generational whatever. Any particular arm of the society excluded in any way has a right to feel cheated or unwanted.
“So some of those things Nnamdi says are valid. Some of us can see it. We cannot continue to run away from the facts. But some of us do not agree with his style because I do not understand where he is going, when he intends to pull the brakes and when it is going to stop.
‘If I have a way of conveying my view to the leadership of the group what I will say is they should find the way to enter into conversation and let people know.
“I don’t understand their strategy and purpose; I don’t understand why they are attacking institutions of civil rule. A lot of people who are apologetic to some of these strategies don’t even know they are riding the tiger’s tail.
“If the police and military withdraw and then brigands become enforcers of the law and order, if you have a quarrel with your brother, how do you resolve it?
“Our national orientation should be willing to say sorry. No person can be right 100 percent all the days of his life.
“ Even in dealing with our children if we do things that are not right we should have the courage to stoop low and say sorry but to create an utopian aura that all is well is either nothing is wrong or I have done it , what can you do?”
On the nation’s insecurity, the governor noted that, “I would like us to address the insecurity issue in Nigeria holistically. I don’t want to look at the insecurity in South East as opposed to the one in the North West or North East.
“The problem of insecurity in this country is as a result of the fact that the security admixes of our country which we inherited from the late sixties or early seventies focus more on spending on boots on ground, arms and ammunition.
“That may be good classically speaking but if you are fighting an asymmetric war which is a war that is faceless, what you do is to change the arrangement and the ratio should be 60 percent intelligence gathering, research and development and only 35 per cent for boots on ground because if you have not given intelligence to the boots on ground who are they going to battle?