Why I Reneged On My Handover Promise – Gen. Gowon
Gen. Yakubu Gowon, yesterday, in Lagos came very close to telling all about why he reneged on the promise by the military government he led to hand over power to civilians in 1975.
Speaking as the Chairman of CVL annual lecture in Lagos, Gen. Gowon explained that the fear of a repeat of the political violence that culminated in the Nigerian Civil War prevented him from adhering to the planned handover of power to a democratically elected civilian government.
The hesitation, which he claimed was informed by the saber-rattling by politicians akin to the immediate pre-war period, eventually led to the military coup that ousted his government and brought in Gen. Murtala Muhammed, who was, in turn, overthrown less than a year after.
The 16th CVL lecture was held to mark the 63rd birthday of Prof. Pat Utomi, a former Presidential Adviser, professor of Political Economics at the Lagos Business School and governorship aspirant of the APC in Delta State.
The Lecture which had the theme “Is Democracy changing lives in Africa?” had the President of Liberia, George Weah as Keynote Speaker and featured Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Femi Falana (SAN), Muiz Banire (SAN), Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, Prof. Ebere Onwudiwe and Mr. Eluem Emeka Izeze.