Posted by Chris Njoku, Owerri | 15 December 2019 | 1,921 times
Former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, on Saturday warned political leaders in the country to avoid the mistake British made in Northern Ireland in handling the Biafran and Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) agitation.
Ohakim, who delivered a lecture titled “Nigeria: The Leadership Question”, at the 2019 Public Service Lecture and Award ceremony of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Imo State chapter, said the British made avoidable mistake in Northern Ireland.
“They fell in the trap of believing that because they had power, weapons, soldiers, and experience that dwarfed those of the insurgents, it did not matter what the people thought of them.”
“History tells us that Britain couldn’t defeat the Northern Ireland insurgents for more than twenty years.”
He therefore advised the political leaders to embrace peaceful negotiation to solve the problem of agitation.
According to him, President Musa Yar’Adua heeded this advice and succeeded with the Niger Delta militants and amnesty programme.
Quoting Attila the Hun, he said “it is never wise to gain by battle what may be gained through bloodless negotiations.”
He said that there is nothing wrong with Nigeria but the only thing wrong was with the leadership.
Ohakim blamed the travails of the nation on the unwillingness or incapacity of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which is the hallmark of true leadership.
He believed that Nigeria can only develop when the leadership considers reworking the country’s articles of association to unleash the people’s potential. (The Nation)
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