Nigeria’s current mood chilling, similar to pre-Civil War, says Prof. Akintoye

NEWS DIGEST–A renowned historian, Prof Banji Akintoye, said on Monday that the mood in Nigeria today is similar to the mood in the country months before the 1967 civil war.

Speaking in Lagos at the “Never Again Conference” organised by the Nzuko Umunna and Ndigbo, Lagos, to mark ’50 years’ after the civil war, Akintoye said he was a young university lecturer in 1967 and from his recollections “the prevailing mood among us Nigerians (now) is chillingly similar to the character of the affairs of our country in the months leading to the civil war.”

He said, “The government is being managed in ways that make it look like an exclusive preserve of a particular minority. There seems to be an agenda being pursued to establish this minority in all positions of command in the executive, administrative, judicial and security services of the country.

“The voices of the majority register protests continually and are continually disrespected and ignored. The state of the law is patently being subsumed to the needs of that agenda, with seriously damaging effects on human rights. These situations are inevitably fostering, among the peoples of the Middle Belt and South of the country, the feeling that they are being reduced to the status of conquered peoples of Nigeria.”

Akintoye said to avoid impending danger, Nigeria must, without further delay, restructure “with the objective of giving our country a true and generally acceptable federal structure under which the present sections of the country will be able to develop their resources for the conquest of poverty in their domains.”

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