Former Head of State and Nigerian ruler during the civil war Yakubu Gowon was very dismissive of the people demonstrating in southeastern Nigeria over the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the activist and self-styled leader of the “Independent People of Biafra” (IPOB).
Gowon spoke today in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State, claiming that the Biafran agitators were youths that had no idea of the costs of the civil war, that lasted from 1967 to 1970, to millions of Nigerians. He felt it was only a handful of Igbos protesting and that the majority of Igbos “were not with them”.
He said “Biafra was finished”, but acknowledged that “this is a democracy” and the pro-Biafra activists should be allowed to “express their views” and “we will deal with it in a mature way”.
Gowon wished he could meet with them and discuss the issues around secession.