resolved to ensure that the union of various ethnic groups in the country live in harmony.
The governor said this in his speech at the 2012 Achebe Colloquium on Africa in Rhode Island, United States of America on Friday.
He spoke on the theme, ‘The Role of Statecraft in the African Renaissance amidst Regime Change and Ethno-Religious Insurgency – A West African Case Study’.
Fashola was adding his voice to the controversy that had trailed the host, Prof. Chinua Achebe’s latest book, There was a Country.
He said many years after the conflict, there was no need to re-open an old wound.
Fashola added that some of the principal actors in the conflict, such as the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the late Chief Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu, had moved beyond the conflict before their deaths.
He said, “This was what Ojukwu said when Awolowo passed on in the late 1980s, ‘the best President that Nigeria never had’.
“It might interest you to know that one of the active military leaders of the time, a Yoruba General, did not object to his daughter subsequently marrying an Igbo man.
“Today, the story of our progress in Lagos State cannot be complete without acknowledging the role of Ben Akabueze, an Igbo man from Anambra State, who has been my Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning for the last five years.
“Interestingly, it is only in Yoruba land where the problem of abandoned properties did not afflict the Igbos.
“When Lagos State Military Government tried to expropriate Ojukwu’s property in Lagos, it was a Yoruba lawyer who prosecuted the case successfully on his behalf.”
The governor advised Nigerians to honour the memory of the people who kept the nation together. A ccording to him, Nigerians should not re-open the old wounds “but resolve that never again will our people’s blood be spilled by their own people in order to harness the diversity of our people and make our union perfect”.
“But beyond that, my own generation has moved on. We see our country differently.”
Fashola added that the publication of what happened at the time by management of the National Archives would help to ensure that nobody created his own history.
- The Punch