A former Chief of Defence Staff in the second republic, General Ipoola Alani Akinrinade has said that the Igbo people of the Southeastern Nigeria should have been allowed to secede.
Akinrinade also noted that it was now very difficult to keep Nigeria together, stressing that the ideals that people had to keep Nigeria in one piece were all gone.
He said even as much as he would like Nigeria to remain as one, he doubts the possibility.
He told Vanguard, “Good, you allow people to make choices. And you also said it is good to allow people decide their fate.
“This present agitation by the Igbos, garbed in the Biafra movement, in retrospect, wouldn’t we now begin to admit that the fight to keep Nigeria one, based on contemporary realities, was futile, a fool’s errand, that was not worth it?
“Those ideals that people had, in keeping the nation one, appear to have been thrown out of the window.
“Well, I think as far back as the early 1980s, I’d alluded to the fact that it is still possible to keep a country like Nigeria one.
“I have doubts myself now.
“As far back as 1983 when I went to Ife to deliver a lecture, I suggested that we would do much better with a confederation.
“I believe a confederal system is more manageable.
“But even at that time, people kicked. So, imagine what the response would be now because things have gone from bad to worse.
“Why didn’t we allow the Igbos to go their way?”
Asked if Nigeria should have allowed Igbo go their way, he added, “Absolutely. But, honestly, we can have a true federal system after all.”