General Gowon marks 87th birthday
By Halima ABDULKADIRI
General Yakubu Gowon one of Nigeria’s surviving historical personalities has on Monday, October 19, 2021 marked his 87th birthday.
He was the second military Head of State who ruled Nigeria between August 1, 1967 and July 29, 1975.
He led the country through the crises that followed the overthrow of the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa government on January 15, 1966, and the Biafra-Nigeria war (the Civil War), which ended with the restoration of Nigeria’s unity.
Gowon will forever be remembered for his patriotic disposition which ensured that the War ended with minimal bloodshed. His declaration of “No Victor, No Vanquished” and policy of “Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation” helped in restoring trust and faith in our nation, especially by the returnee ex-Biafrans.
It is so unfortunate that Gowon’s patriotic mindset was not shared by some of his comrades-at-arms who till today continue to project cynical governance attitudes that negate the spirit of reconciliation and national unity. This is why the “rising sun” of Biafra which supposedly “set forever” 51 years ago, has risen again.
This recently manifested in the mobilisation of the armed forces to enforce peace in the South East after an upsurge of violence by elements suspected to belong to the neo-secessionist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, led by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.