General Yakubu Gowon Biography, Controversy, Age, Career, wife, Net Worth, and everything you need to know about General Yakubu Gowon.
Yakubu Dan-Yumma “Jack” Gowon GCFR (born 19 October 1934) is a retired Nigerian army general and military leader. As head of state of Nigeria, Gowon presided over a controversial Nigerian Civil War and delivered the famous “no victor, no vanquished” speech at the war’s end to promote healing and reconciliation. The Nigerian Civil War is listed as one of the deadliest in modern history, with some accusing Gowon of crimes against humanity and genocide. Gowon maintains that he committed no wrongdoing during the war and that his leadership saved the country.
Gowon joined the Nigerian Army in 1954, and received his commission as a second lieutenant on 19 October 1955, his 21st birthday. He was trained in the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, UK (1955–56), Staff College, Camberley, UK (1962) as well as the Joint Staff College, Latimer, 1965. He saw action in the Congo as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force, both in 1960–61 and in 1963. He advanced to battalion commander rank by 1966, at which time he was still a lieutenant colonel.
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After earning his doctorate at the University of Warwick, Gowon became a professor of political science at the University of Jos in the mid-1980s. Gowon founded his own organization in 1992 called the Yakubu Gowon Centre. The organization is said to work on issues in Nigeria such as good governance as well as infectious disease control including HIV/AIDS, guinea worm, and malaria. Furthermore, Gen. Gowon is also involved in the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme as well as the HIV Programme with Global Fund of Geneva.
Further information: 1976 Nigerian coup d’état attempt
In February 1976, Gen. Murtala Mohammed was assassinated in an unsuccessful coup d’état led by Lt. Col Buka Suka Dimka, who implicated Gowon. According to Dimka’s “confession”, he met with Gowon in London and obtained support from him for the coup. In addition, Dimka mentioned before his execution that the purpose of the coup d’état was to re-install Gowon as head of state. As a result of the coup tribunal findings, Gowon was declared wanted by the Nigerian government, stripped of his rank in absentia , and had his pension cut off.
Gen. Gowon was finally pardoned (along with the ex-Biafran president, Emeka Ojukwu) during the Second Republic under President Shehu Shagari. Gowon’s rank (of general) wasn’t restored until 1987 however by General Ibrahim Babangida.
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