Former Senate Speaker Senator Anyim Pius Anyim on Tuesday called for the creation of a commemorative arcade with a detailed account of the Nigerian Civil War to enlighten the younger generation.
Anyim also served as Federation government secretary during Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency.
He made the call at an international research conference on 50 years of the post-Nigerian civil war organized by the Center for Health and Allied Legal and Demographical Development Research and Training at Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka .
The theme of the conference was “50 years after the civil war in Nigeria: problems, challenges and prospects for national integration, justice, peace and security”.
Anyim said that the creation of the arcade would help the younger generation appreciate the scale and extent of the ugly experiences of the Civil War.
According to him, such memorials will not only have a calming effect, but will highlight the war as a national tragedy that should never be considered.
He said: “51 years after the Nigerian civil war, Nigeria has yet to properly situate the issues and the lessons of this experience in the history of our nation.
“To date, there appears to be no official act or war memorial.
“We need a detailed and factual account of the war in order of events, social and economic costs, number of lives lost, details of casualties, among others.
“Such an account will help generations to come to appreciate the magnitude and extent of the unfortunate event.
“The documentary resources and results of this conference should bridge the gap and serve to push back any reckless desire for war. “
In addition, the outgoing President of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo, said that dialogue and negotiations are needed to foster progress and peaceful coexistence in the country.
“For too long we have allowed the bitterness of war and its lingering feelings to dictate our political relations.
“Young men and women who did not participate in the war are frustrated by the stalemate.
“We don’t want war. We have shed enough blood without producing corresponding political results.
“Fifty years after the civil war, the time is now over for a new approach, including fruitful discussions and negotiations,” Nwodo said.
In addition, Ms. Bianca Ojukwu, widow of former Biafran warlord Odumegwu Ojukwu, urged the federal government to respect and adhere to the principles of the federal character in order to ensure fairness in appointments.
In his remarks, NAU Vice-Chancellor Professor Charles Esimone said the conference would provide useful ideas and recommendations for building lasting peace in the country.