By DAUD OLATUNJI
ABEOKUTA-Former President Olusegun Obasanjo Tuesday cautioned Nigerian leaders to avoid any act that could lead to war in the country.
Obasanjo stated this at 2013 annual armed forces remembrance day for the fallen heroes held at Arcade ground in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta,the Ogun State capital, said Nigerians should learn from history.
The ex-President who clad in a white flowing Agbada with a traditional blue cap urged government at all levels to remember the families of the slain soldiers.
Obasanjo who lamented the loss of many security personnel during civil and international wars, said Nigerian leaders should ensure what led to the previous wars did not recall.
When asked about how he feels on the day, he said ” I feel fine. Fortunately, war is not a picnic. Unfortunately, when you engage in wars, lives are bound to be lost. That is why, if as much as possible, wars should be avoided.
Obasanjo added “for us in Nigeria, even when we were fighting along with the colonial power, we lost Nigerians in Burma, in East Africa.
” But since the days of the constabulary, because that is where the Nigerian Army started from, Nigerian security forces have been losing lives either in support of civil authority or in fighting local wars.
“The aim of this is to constantly remember the sacrifice that they have made, constantly remind ourselves that they left families behind who need to be cared and catered for and constantly to remind us that whatever that might have caused internally, what led to the loss of lives of members of our armed forces will no longer recall.
” That we learn from history by constantly reminding ourselves of the history of our country”.
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the armed forces remembrance day when former President Obasanjo shunned the request made by the State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun to lay a wreath.
The drama ensued when his name was mentioned as part of the dignataries that would lay the wreath and he vehemently rejected after he was persuaded by the governor.
The programme was put on hold for a while as many people including the Deputy governor, Segun Adesegun, the Iyalode of Egbaland, Alaba Lawson went to beg him to lay the wreath in honour of the fallen heroes.
Vanguard learnt that, Obasanjo refused the request to lay a wreath because his name was not in the brochure as part of those that would lay the wreath.
However, governor Amosun,the Brigade Commander ,35 Artilery Brigade, Alamala, Abeokuta,E E John, the commandant, Nigerian Navy Seconday School ,Abeokuta M A Adetunji, and the State Chairman, Nigerian Legion,Samuel Olaosebikan among others.