By Steve Oko
Professor Pat Utomi has claimed that he was told that the officers who ordered the massacre of Igbo in Asaba during the Nigeria civil war, all died a violent death.
The Professor of Political Economics who disclosed this while speaking at the Ikengaonline Town Hall meeting on Thursday night, said that the law of Karma later caught up with those behind the genocidal act against innocent Igbo who were tricked to assemble at the community square to welcome the federal troops only to be executed in cold blood.
Utomi further regretted that former Head of State, Gen. Murtala Mohammed, was made to appear like a superhero by his proteges, whereas he should have been put on trial for war crimes.
Professor Utomi who spoke on the theme: “Handshake Across the Niger: The Imperatives of Southern Unity, Now and Beyond”, wondered why the Nigerian State would always want the events of the civil war swept under the carpet.
He noted that apart from the Jewish holocaust, and perhaps the Rwanda genocide, the genocide against Biafrans during the Nigeria civil war was the worst genocide against humanity in the history.
Professor Utomi who said he was 11 years old when the war broke out regretted that the Biafran holocaust was being swept under the carpet.
He recalled that an American lieutenant, William Kelly, who opened fire against civilians during the Vietnam war was later put on trial back in the US and jailed for war crime while those who committed worse crimes were being celebrated as heroes in Nigeria.
Professor Utomi who tried to establish links and similarities between the Igbo and Yoruba urged for unity and collaboration among Southern Nigeria people.
He commended leaders of Southern Nigeria and the Middle Belt including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, for their unflinching support for the candidacy of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, in the spirit of equity and fairness.
Utomi condemned politics of divide-and-rule which he said was responsible for unnecessary strife and tension between tribes in the country.
In his contribution, Dr Osmund Agbo, noted that “one of the biggest disasters of the Nigeria project is the propensity to suppress history”.
He wondered why the Federal Government would always want to criminalise anyone trying to talk about the Biafran history. Various speakers who participated at the event harped on the need for stronger ties and robust cooperation among tribes in Southern Nigeria.