Why Nigeria doesn’t have ‘official’ records of civil war — Obasanjo

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has explained why Nigeria has no official records of what transpired during the nation’s civil war.

Mr Obasanjo also said writing the history of the civil war, ”has been overtaken by events”.

The civil war that occurred between 1967 and 1970 was fought between the Nigerian forces and Biafran forces, who wanted an independent nation.

The war led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerian and Biafran soldiers.

The two-term former president spoke on Tuesday at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre Abuja, at the launch of a book written by Abdullahi Shehu, titled ”Election in Nigeria: The Long Road To Democracy.”

The event attracted dignitaries, including a former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon; human right activist, Femi Falana; a former deputy president of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu; Chido Onumah, author of ‘We Are All Biafrans”, among many others.

Mr Obasanjo narrated how a committee launched by Mr Gowon, ”refused to write the Nigerian civil war history”.

”When we had our civil war, General Gowon established a committee to write the official history of the Nigerian civil war. After about four-five years, the committee would not agree to write an official history, and up till today, we have no official history of the war,” Mr Obasanjo said.


SGF Campaign AD

”Maybe now, we can say it is overtaken by events, maybe people can sit down and write an official history of the war,” he added.

He also explained how a former head of state, late Murtala Muhammed ”forcefully dissolved the committee”.

”And I can remember, when we relieved General Gowon of his appointment, we looked at that committee, and one day, Murtala angrily said, we as a nation we cannot come together and prevent a civil war, and we fought a civil war because we disagreed.

”Should we not be able to come together to write the official history of the Nigeria civil war and because we have failed to write the official history, our committee has failed. He disbanded the committee. And that committee remains disbanded till today,” he said.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.