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Gowon speaks on civil war, says he didn’t commit any crime

Gowon says he did not commit a crime by going to war because he did it for the love of unity of Nigeria.

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon ruled Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. (Guardian)

Gowon said this while speaking in a special interview he granted to the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Service on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the end of the civil war.

He said the war was started by those who wanted Nigeria to divide, adding that he did not commit a crime by going to war because he did it for the love of unity of Nigeria.

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He said, “I want to thank God that we ended the civil war on a peaceful note; like I said back then, there was no victor, no vanquished. I thank God for the peace we’ve enjoyed over the last fifty years since the war ended.

“The war wasn’t what someone wanted. It was fought by those who wanted Nigeria to remain one unlike those on the other side who wanted it to divide, that was what led to the war.

“Because of that, I will not say I committed a crime by going to war, it was out of our love for the unity of Nigeria, especially after the killing of Nigerian leaders of northern extraction, of our prominent officers from Lieutenant Colonel to General. I was the only one left. Those who want to foment fresh trouble should not do so.”

On Igbo presidency, Gowon said he has no problem with the South-East producing the next president in 2023.

He said the Igbo might have produced a president if the PDP had continued its rotational presidency.

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There was a time the PDP started rotational presidency, if that was continued maybe the Igbo would have produced a President but that didn’t happen. If that can be done now, I don’t have a problem with it. Anybody can govern. There are many people in Nigeria, if God gives them and they will govern with the fear of God and love for Nigerians, we will make the desired progress.”

General Yakubu Gowon ruled Nigeria from 1966 to 1975.

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