Looking back at his role in the Nigeria-Biafra civil war (1967 – 1970), former Presdient Olusegun Obasanjo said he was happy that Biafra (a South-Eath movement in Nigeria that broke away and stood as a republic for three years) did not break away permanently from Nigeria and that the war was avoidable.
He also clarified that the Biafran war was avoidable if the retired Lieutenant colonel Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu or retired General Yakubu Gowon had exercised enough patience and caution. He further said that both former military officers are not remorseful over the terrible incidence of Biafra.
He indicated that he is still very happy today that Nigeria is still one large family which included the ‘Biafrans’ who had broken away during the civil war – some of them still agitate to breakaway today.
Obasanjo believes the diverse complex and dynamic composition of the Nigerian state married together by Sir Frederick John Dealty Lord Lugard (popularly known as Lord Lugard) was and is a divine arrangemet from God, which Nigerians should explore and maximise the potentials therein.
“I will be very happy til I die that Biafra did not breakaway permanently. We are better off because Nigeria remains a united viable country. There are still those who believe Nigeria’s unity is a mistake. I believe God doesn’t make a mistake. If he used Lord Lugard to bring Nigeria to bring the Nigeria together. That’s his (God’s) wish for Nigeria”.
Obasanjo says Nigerians, as the largest African nation and the largest black race in the world should be responsible to themselves and to the world at large.
He says Nigerians should not blame anyone for their failures. “We have celebrated many years of independence. We shouldn’t be blaming the British for our failures”.
The ex Nigerian head of state between 1976 and 1979 said he never wanted a Nigerian to get a visa to go to Kano or Port Hacourt.
He proverbially described the civil war as a product of several complex actions and reactions that are not equal nor palatable.