THROWBACK: How Yakubu Gowon reacted to removal from office 43 years ago

Yakubu Gowon
Yakubu Gowon

Two video clips have emerged showing how former Nigerian Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, reacted when his government was overthrown in 1975.

In one of the short clips, Mr Gowon was seen maintaining a calm mien even as he moved to be briefed about details of the military intervention back home. In the second video, he addressed a press conference calling for calm in the interest of peace and unity among Nigerians.

“From all indications,” he said, “a new government has been established in Nigeria. I wish to state that I on my part have also accepted the change and pledge my full loyalty to my nation, to my country, and the new government.”

He appealed to all concerned stakeholders to co-operate with the new government in the interest of peace and stability. He also thanked Nigerians for the support given him during his tenure, calling on them to give the new government same support.

The government Mr Gowon headed was toppled on July 29, 1975. He was succeeded by another senior military officer, Murtala Mohammed.

Mr Gowon was away in Uganda attending an Organisation of African Unity conference in Kampala when he was overthrown.

Although checks revealed that the video clips had been on Youtube for some time, they went viral some days ago after some social media users shared them online.

Mr Gowon was Nigeria’s head of state during the Nigerian civil war between 1967 and 1970.

Since he left government, he has dedicated his public life to promoting peace, national unity and inter-religious harmony among Nigerians.

In 1996, he founded “Nigeria Prays”, a group dedicated to prayers in its desire to put an end to the various problems plaguing Nigeria.

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