Nigeria yet to learn from civil war after 51 years, says Anyim
Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, has lamented, that 51 years after, Nigeria’s government has not learned the lessons of the civil war.
He took the position in a keynote address delivered, yesterday, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, during the International Research Conference on 50 Years Post-Nigeria Civil War organised by The Center for Health and Allied Legal and Demographical Development Research and Training (CHALADORAT).
He said the country is yet to properly situate the issues and lessons of that experience in its history,
“As of today, it appears there is neither official record nor memorial of the war. We need a detailed and factual account of the war in a sequence of events, social and economic costs, number of lives lost, details of the victims, etc. Such an account will help the upcoming generations to appreciate the scale and extent of the unfortunate event,” he said.
“The winner takes all outlook of our political system needs to be interrogated with emphasis on the attendant ‘do or die attitude of our politicians as this has escalated electoral violence and manipulations.
“I believe that the progress made in Rwanda in so short a time is due mainly to the quality of leadership provided by President Kagame, who himself was part of the war and would not wish for a repeat of the war,” he added.
He noted that a freely negotiated constitution is needed to subdue growing tension in various parts of the country.
According to him, building a new national consensus and deescalating the rising tension all over the country should be the most urgent task of the present administration.
He said the nation would derive immense benefits, including state legitimacy and citizen psychological relief from a freely negotiated constitution.
That legitimacy, according to the former senate president would, undoubtedly, serve as the basis of a new Nigeria whose challenges would not be a crisis of legitimacy.
He added that current security crises combined with rising poverty present fresh, difficult but surmountable challenges that leaders need to confront as a nation.