ACF Tackles Ohanaeze Ndigbo, IPOB For Demanding Apology From Gowon

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Apex Northern sociocultural group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed deep offense and pain over what it called highly provocative statements recently credited to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra against former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).
The ACF said it took time to digest a statements credited to Mr. Okechukwu Isiguozo of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo as well as the one from the IPOB calling on General Gowon, its Grand Patron, to tender apology for what the Forum referred as a nebulous “sin” against Ndigbo on his role during the Nigerian civil war between 1969 – 1970.
National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Professor T. A. Muhammad-Baba in a statement described both statements as “crude, inciteful, almost uncouth, underlined by thinly-disguised jealousy and totally uncharitable to the legacy of General Gowon, whose records in the role under reference remains, we dare say, yet unmatched in the history of modern Nigeria.”
ACF said, “It is therefore highly regrettable that absolutely anyone will resort to such shadow-chasing, knowing full well where the blame lies regarding sordid never-to-be-forgotten experience in Nigeria during the period January 1966 to January 1970”.
The Forum added that such statements can only at best be rationalized in the context of attempts to rewrite or reinterpret history as it had observed last January on the anniversary of the ethnic-tainted military coup of 1966, noted perhaps as the single most catastrophic in the series of negative developments that together setback the development of Nigeria’s democracy.
The Forum noted that if the referenced statements were meant to advance some national discourse on issues relevant to the political development in Nigeria, they had only served to scratch at, and open wounds that had been assumed to be reasonably or tolerably dried and fading.
The ACF said it believed that General Gowon’s only “sin” was marshalling human and material national resources to crush a needless rebellion and return Nigeria back on the path of national unity.
It further added that beyond merely crushing the rebellion, General Gowon magnanimously instituted an unprecedented and remarkable policy of “No Victor, No Vanquished”, anchored on the “The Three Rs”, i.e. Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction.
It further stated that the policy rightly ensured that the Igbos returned to the fold of One Nigeria where they have continued to prosper and are found in all nooks and crannies, economically integrated and culturally tolerated.
As a result, the ACF stressed that the Igbos own lands and businesses even when, by a recent admission from one of their elders, non-indigenes in the Southeastern states do not enjoy such constitutionally permitted privileges.
“For every Nigerian, General Yakubu Gowon remains an icon of humility, a spectacular exemplar in leadership qualities deserving of respect and gratitude,” the Arewa Consultative Forum noted.
It further reminded that Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, IPOB and any such groups should never forget that all the retired General did was to professionally superintend over a nation facing a rebellion.
“For that matter, ACF has been buoyed by reactions of the people of BRAC states of Nigeria (Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River) relating to their own suffering in the hands of the rebel forces during the war and how much in high esteem they hold our Grand Patron and Hero of Modern Nigeria”.
ACF said, it subscribes to the saying that wounds heal best when left untouched by dirty fingers. While not wishing to speak ill of the dead and buried, the Forum also believes that Igbos know, ab initio, precisely those who ought to apologise for leading Nigerians, and Igbo people, into “senseless” political adventurism from calculated and coldblooded murders of national political and military heroes, unarmed civilians including an 8-month pregnant woman in front of her children, starting in January 1966 to the conclusion of the Civil War in January 1970.
ACF therefore called on all to hug peace tightly, saying its enough of the crass obsession with the civil war victimhood mentality.
“Bottomline, everyone has been nursing deep wounds even as they elect to forgive. For ACF, General Gowon and all the generals that fought to keep Nigeria One forever remain our revered heroes.
“Any, and all disrespect thrown at them will attract appropriate response in like measure and manner,” the ACF stressed.


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