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Buhari says Nigerian Army was “constrained to show a lot of restraint” against Biafrans in Civil War



Buhari says Nigerian Army was "constrained to show a lot of restraint" against Biafrans in Civil War | BellaNaijaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has said the Nigerian Army showed a lot of restraint against the Biafrans during the Civil War, The Cable reports.

Buhari said this on Monday in Abuja while speaking at his investiture as Grand Patron of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS).

The then Head of State Yakubu Gowon had issued instructions that the Nigerian Army was not fighting enemies but “brothers,” the president said.

Gowon, he continued, “is a highly committed Nigerian.” He said:

Earlier in my profession, during the civil war, I know how much sacrifice members of the Nigerian Red Cross and their international counterparts did both in the real front of operations and at the rear, on both sides. I think it is a lot of sacrifices because anything can happen to you in the operational areas.

The risks they faced were real and I admire their courage and commitment to helping people who were in distress and were virtually in millions. Those photographs of people from the Biafra enclave spoke a lot.

I remember with nostalgia the performance of the commander-in-chief, General Yakubu Gowon. Every commander was given a copy of the commander-in-chief’s instructions that we were not fighting enemies but that we were fighting our brothers. And thus, people were constrained to show a lot of restraint.

The international observer teams were allowed to go as far as possible within and outside the front and I think this was generous and very considerate of General Gowon. He is a highly committed Nigerian.

The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, was fought between 1967 & 1970, with a million Biafrans said to have died of starvation.


  1. Hotchick

    June 4, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    This is a sad day for me. There is no way we can, as a nation, justify the genocide against the Ibo people 1967-1970. Buhari may need new and updated lessons on Nigeria’s history.

    • Seriously

      June 5, 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Being sad won’t change anything neither will complaints. The power is in you and me. You can’t change the other person. Buhari and his sycophants are stuck in their ways and are not changing at all.
      Vote sowore2019.

  2. Mama Ayo

    June 4, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    History is a statement of fact that can not be re-written or edited by dotards. Restraints ??? I have never heard that before. … These geriatic man is desperate to win the 2019 elections and will say anything to guarantee that. Nigerians are not fooled…

  3. Aare farmland

    June 4, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    The international red cross did a lot during the war and deserved to be commended. Beyond that it is just tactical recollections.

  4. Can

    June 4, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    The truth nigerians refused to say is what is eating into the system today….. Fulani herds men

    • Uberhaute Looks

      June 5, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Our President needs to bridle his tongue before he starts another war.

  5. nnenne

    June 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Mr. Buhari, how do you explain Asaba massacre then? Bombing of markets churches, and refugee camps?
    Is that why the history is not taught in Schools. We all were hoping people will forget?

  6. courage

    June 5, 2018 at 8:30 am

    This comment is faulty!!!!!

  7. MIA

    June 5, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I don’t even know what to say. If only he could read……..

  8. Clement 1960

    June 5, 2018 at 11:26 am

    None of you commenters were alive during the civil war so keep quiet if you don’t know the real facts…”all is fair in love and war” and the army did show some restraint considering what could have been a total wipe out. Do you honestly think the Biafran forces could hold off the army for three years? Gowon tried his best too fight a ‘decent’ fight

    • Abi

      June 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      So you were alive at the time to know nay witness these facts you speak of? I’m asking because my mum still has moments where she goes very still and very quiet and we’ve all learnt to let her be because the haunting things she saw are still fresh in her memory.

    • Bridget

      June 5, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      I have watched a series of documentary on youtube about the Biafrian war. After watching them I fell in love with Gowon and Ojukwu. They were selfless men. When I compare the Biafran war to the Congolese, vietnam wars, I strongly agree with Buhari that the Federal soldiers were constrained to restrain.

  9. Bowl

    June 5, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    @Clement 1960, He who murders peace in the dead of the night will never see light . May you never drown in your bias. This your country will in continue in its never ending tales of backwardness until the ghost of Biafra is expunged from it !

  10. Dee Cee

    June 5, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    God will punish this useless man.

  11. Physio Tinu

    June 6, 2018 at 5:05 am

    Did we all just read the same news report?! Na wa oh. If the comments are a reflection of the calibre of young people in Nigeria who are supposedly literate then we are in trouble in this country. Read again and notice The part of Yakubu Gowon and the letter issued…

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