Politics Nigeria Gowon: 'I was very afraid after I grew to become Nigeria's Head...

Gowon: ‘I was very afraid after I grew to become Nigeria’s Head of State at 31’

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In different phrases, he wasn’t prepared for the position that had simply been thrust on him.

A coup d’état by a group of junior officers led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu in 1966 had ended the reign of Nigeria’s civilian authorities led by Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.

Some largely northern and western politicians had been killed throughout this coup.

Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, the leader of the aborted January, 1966 coup

Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, the chief of the aborted January, 1966 coup

General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, who grew to become Head of State afterwards, was subsequently assassinated in a counter coup after overseeing Nigeria’s affairs for simply seven months.

Gowon returned from his course on the Joint Staff College, Latimer UK, two days before the Nzeogwu coup. His late arrival in all probability exempted him from the hit list of the coupists.

Following Aguiyi-Ironsi’s assassination, Gowon’s uncommon background as a northerner who was neither of Hausa nor Fulani ancestry; nor of the Islamic faith, made him a significantly secure decide to lead Nigeria.

A mash up of Aguiyi Ironsi, Yakubu Gowon and Odumegwu Ojukwu, some of the Chief players during and after the July, 1966 coup

A mash up of Aguiyi Ironsi, Yakubu Gowon and Odumegwu Ojukwu, some of the Chief players throughout and after the July, 1966 coup

Gowon grew to become Nigeria’s third president and youngest Head of State when he assumed the reins on August 1, 1966, simply two months shy of his thirty second birthday on October 19.

His time as navy Head of State is the longest in Nigeria’s historical past. Gowon was president for 9 years.

On July 29, 1975, while Gowon was attending an OAU (Organisation of African Union) summit in Kampala, a group of navy officers led by Colonel Joe Nanven Garba, introduced his overthrow.

The coup plotters appointed Brigadier Murtala Muhammad as new Head of State, with Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo named as his deputy.

Yakubu Gowon now prays for peace and unity in Nigeria (Guardian)

Yakubu Gowon now prays for peace and unity in Nigeria (Guardian)

“I felt petrified after I took over as Head of State,” Gowon, who was president throughout Nigeria’s bloody civil battle, said throughout a reality historical past competitors organised by ANISZA Foundation and Gallery.

The event was put collectively to commemorate Nigeria’s sixtieth independence anniversary.

Gowon added that his ambition on the time was simply to be a good soldier, till the coup plotters got here calling. “I never planned to be the president, it just happened,” he said.

A phrase for the younger

The former head of state interacted with tons of of Nigerian youths through the digital event.

He also relieved some of his life experiences and endorsed younger Nigerians on the right attitudes and values.

“We can live in peace and unity irrespective of faith and tribe,” the 85-year-old Gowon said.

President Muhammadu Buhari (left) and Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]

President Muhammadu Buhari (left) and Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]

The host of the talk show and ANISZA founder, Novo Isioro, defined that the event, and the entire idea of ANISZA is to educate Nigerian youths, particularly secondary faculty college students, in Nigerian historical past by utilizing images and different visible parts.

Isioro is an alumnus of the Pan Atlantic University, a visible communication strategist and photographer who served as Nigeria’s presidential documentary photographer within the Office of the Vice President.

She left for the United States in 2019 to additional her training on the New York Film School.

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