A Coalition of Southern Nigeria group on Sunday called on Retired Generals Yakubu Gowon, Theophilus Danjuma and David Mark as well as France and Britain to tender unreserved apologies to the old Eastern region for the killing of over two million people in the South East and South-south Nigeria during the Biafran civil war.
The group in a statement to CAPITAL POST in Abuja, Sunday which was signed by its facilitator, Mr. Livingstone Wechie and six others said, the killing was genocide, while describing the former Military Head of State, Rtd General Yakubu Gowon’s “Nigeria Prays”, as an attempt to cover up his past crime against humanity.
The group said, it drew inspiration from France and Germany which offered apologies and reparation to nations they participated in war crimes, noting that it reminds one of similar scenario between 1967 to 1970 Nigeria civil war.
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The statement said: “The Governments of Britain, France, General Yakubu Gowon, Gen. T.Y Danjuma and General David Mark should unreservedly apologise to the people of old Eastern Nigeria for their alleged complicit roles in the genocidal killing of more than two million indigenous people including Ndi-Igbo, Ikwerres, Ijaws, Efiks, Ibibios, Ogonis, Anangs, Urhobos, Benin, Ishangs etc during the Nigeria/Biafra Civil War.
“CSNG views the ugly historical actions of the aforementioned persons and states as crime against humanity.
“It is unfortunate that General Yakubu Gowon a one time Military Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has in the face of these heinous historical allegations suddenly disguised himself into a prayer warrior with the blood of more than two million souls in his hands as he continues to look the other way with his mischievous “Nigeria Prays” newly found enterprise.
“As for General T.Y Danjuma, reports are abundant as per his reported complicit mastermind of the bulk of the killings along with the then Major Mark who is now a former Senate President of Nigeria.
“It was Gen. Danjuma who allegedly opened up the Southern gates to those he is today fighting who at that time carried out the reported killings.According to the group, “Britain, France, Generals Gowon, Danjuma and Mark among others cannot extricate themselves from responsibility for the more two million innocent lives that they allegedly destroyed during that period under review.”
They noted that the civil war which ended in 1970 was long characterised by pockets of crisis which people continue to lose their lives in hundreds.
The statement continued: “Today the Nigerian government is still painstakingly grappling with the situation in the old Eastern region reportedly caused by these persons along with their remnants in the corridors of power without denial.
“We urge the Nigerian government not to relent, but in honor, ensure the reparation for the affected areas and ensure the full implementation of the Wilkins Commission Report and use of dialogue to resolve the ongoing crisis because guns will further escalate the situation.”
“For the umpteenth time, Germany and France have publicly apologised to the Governments of Rwanda and Namibia respectively for their lethal complicit roles in the genocide that they masterminded and sponsored in both states that cumulatively took more than one million lives at the time.
“French President Emmanuel Macron on a visit to Rwanda last week sought for forgiveness from Rwandans for the mass killing of more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus while Germany apologised on Friday for its role in the genocidal massacre and slaughter of not less than eigty thousand of Herero and Nama tribes people in Namibia more than a century ago”, the group noted.
“It is our position that the trio of Generals Gowon, Danjuma and David Mark lack the moral rectitude to speak on the current conflict in the land.
“Whereas we strongly sympathise with our neighbours and all the victims of the war on all sides, particularly the Middle-Belt, victims from the core North and the respective Minority tribes across the country at that time, it is regrettable that the same victims of the war are still undergoing various levels of attack resulting in the loss of lives and wanton destruction of property today.
“General Danjuma and his co-travelers can not seek any alliance with the South or the Old Eastern block because they are believed to have so much blood in their hands borne out of ethnic cleansing.
“CSNG urges Gen. Danjuma to own up or deny publicly because his recent outbursts are seen as a foul-cry and a cover-up. He is using his people whom he falsely claims to be representing now being attacked after he sold out to selfishly do the bidding of perceived enemy forces.
“Whereas our position is in good faith, we demand in the interest of justice that the affected persons and states mentioned should toe the line of France which should extend its Rwandan apology to Old Eastern Nigeria as well as and Germany with a view to ensuring reparation, a better future and human dignity for the affected people”, it concluded.