Former Presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, has apologised to Ndigbo and other Nigerians for his description of Yakubu Gowon as a humane personality. Moghalu spoke during the second Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Memorial Lecture at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Igbariam, Anambra State.
Also, wife of the ex-Biafran warlord, Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, is not pleased with Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State who was absent at the lecture. Though the governor was represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke.She told Obiano that there was no evil spirit at the venue to warrant his absence at his late benefactor’s memorial.
The widow also bemoaned “the fast eroding legacies her late husband left in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).”The lecture under the chairmanship of former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was themed ‘Ndigbo In The Contemporary Nigerian Politics’.Gowon is believed by many, especially the Igbo, as the architect of the civil war between 1967 and 1970, which claimed the lives of about three million Igbo men, women and children.
Moghalu said, “Perhaps, because of my use of the word ‘humane’ in describing Gen. Gowon from my personal knowledge of him, I was heavily criticised by hundreds of Twitter users, mainly but not exclusively Igbo who felt I was wrongly celebrating a leader they hold responsible for the death of millions of Igbo people during the civil war.
“There is no more appropriate place and occasion than this lecture to address the misconception that I was insensitive to the death of our family members, young and old, during the terrible civil war.“This was far from my intention because in my message, I urged Gowon to step forward and play a leadership role in bringing the painful issue of the civil war and its lessons to closure, so that Nigeria can heal.”
According to the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), despite the no-victor-no-vanquished declarationby Gowon at the end of the war, Igbo people have remained heavily discriminated against in Nigeria in many ways, in particular, in the political terrain in which there appears to be an unspoken conspiracy to prevent a person of Igbo ethnic nationality from becoming president of Nigeria.”
On the controversial tweet, Moghalu said: “In the first place, I am deeply sorry, and apologise, to everyone whose sensibility I offended, if I mistakenly conveyed the impression that I, as an Igbo man, was uncaring about the millions of people, mostly Igbo, that perished in the war.”He recalled the mass killing of Igbo people in 1966, which led to the war, adding that there would not have been clamour for Biafra if there were no counter-coup or failure of the Aburi Accord.