General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), the former head of state of the military, has been urged by Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the highest Igbo socio-cultural organization, to ask for forgiveness and apologize to the Igbo people for his recent comments regarding the Biafra civil war.

Okechukwu Isiguzoro, an Ohanaeze chieftain, called Gowon’s comment “inflammatory” and encouraged him to make efforts toward reconciliation.

Gowon’s most recent statement, made after seeing President Bola Tinubu, according to Isiguzoro, has caused pain to the Igbo people at home and abroad.

The Igbo people’s collective psyche has been severely harmed by Gowon’s insensitive and misleading narrative about the Biafra war, according to the factional Secretary-General of Ohanaeze.

Gowon, who ruled Nigeria from 1966 to 1975, remembered how people had criticized him for being too slow to pursue the civil war.

The factional Secretary-General denounced the comment and pushed Gowon to consider his conduct and the long-term effects of the Biafra civil war.

A statement by Isiguzoro reads: “In response to the incessant and inflammatory comments made by the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, regarding the experiences of the Biafra war, Ohanaeze Ndigbo issues a resolute and imperative call for reconciliation and healing to be initiated by Gowon himself.

“It is with unwavering conviction that we assert that the time has come for Gowon to take responsibility for his role in the tragic events of the past. His repetitive glorification of the suppression of the Biafran struggle does a disservice to national unity and healing.

“We remind General Gowon that his continued existence, especially amidst the over 3 million Igbo lives lost during the war, is a divine opportunity for him to seek redemption and offer genuine apologies for the pain and suffering inflicted upon the Igbo people.

“It is incumbent upon Gowon to acknowledge the atrocities, confess to any misdeeds, and sincerely apologize to the Igbo community for the role he played in the conflict.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo emphasizes that only through sincere reconciliation, rooted in genuine remorse and penitence, can lasting peace and harmonious co-existence be achieved in our nation.

“The endurance of the Igbo people, their forgiveness, and their commitment to national development are undeniable, yet the scars of the past persist as long as Gowon chooses to reopen old wounds with his insensitive comments.

“It is crucial for General Gowon to rise above personal pride and demonstrate true leadership by making amends for the sins of the past.

“As Igbos continue to contribute positively to the development of Nigeria and support the government of President Tinubu, it is incumbent upon Gowon to reciprocate by fostering an environment of healing and reconciliation through his actions and words.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo implores General Yakubu Gowon to seize this rare opportunity to seek forgiveness, offer sincere apologies, and desist from further inflaming the painful memories of the Biafra war.

“It is time for Gowon to exhibit humility, righteousness, and empathy towards the victims of the war, thereby paving the way for genuine reconciliation and lasting peace in our beloved nation.”

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