21 January 2013

Nigeria: Civil War Comment - Okogie Challenges Obasanjo to Lead the Way

Lagos — THE Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has commended former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent warning against comments that could plunge the nation into another civil war, asking him, however, to match his words with action.

Obasanjo had at a recent reception in his honour by the South-West zone of the People's Democratic Party, PDP, urged Nigerians to put behind them the harrowing experience of the Nigerian civil war and work for the unity and progress of the country.

But in a swift reaction, Okogie, while noting that the comment of the former president was in order, stressed that for such a call to be meaningful, there was also the need for the country's leaders, including the different ethnic nationalities to bury their hatchets, forgive one another and work together for the peaceful co-existence of the country.

He said: "I want to congratulate former President Olusegun Obasanjo for telling Nigerians to forget about the ills of the Nigerian civil war. It is a patriotic comment; but it should go beyond that. How I wish that the former President and all our leaders can put the words into action.

"I wish that all those who bear grudges against one another can come forward and bury their hatches. The forgiveness he talks about should go beyond the civil war. Let him and all Nigerians continue to search their conscience and ask if we genuinely want peace to reign in our nation."

Okogie further said the only way for lasting peace was for "us to forgive the wrongs meted on us by others," and challenged Obasanjo to lead the way through his actions, just as he prayed God to grant the country sustainable peace and harmony.

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