‘’Go on with one Nigeria’’ as the acronyms
of his name implies, General Yakubu Gowon, gave his own views as to whether Nigeria
should be restructured or not he said there is nothing wrong with restructuring
the country, provided it is done within the context of one Nigeria.
Gowon said this, on Wednesday, when
vice chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani, paid him a courtesy
visit in Abuja.
According to an online newspaper,
Gowon recalled that Nigeria was restructured under his leadership as the head
of state, with the creation of states in 1967.
“We can restructure within one
Nigeria context. I did it in 1967; we created states to stop eastern Nigeria
“We had to do something to ensure
the fear of their seceding did not exist; a serious issue of a part of the
country wanting to breakaway when we already lost a part to Cameroon.
“If we had allowed the Eastern
region to go away, the map of Nigeria would have looked funny; it would have
been tilted one way.
“So, we decided overnight to break
the fear through the creation of states. If we had to save the country that was
the only way to do it.
“We also ensured that no state was
too big or too small to threaten the unity of the country,” he said.
Commenting on his time as the
number one citizen in the country, Gowon said “accident of history” made it
possible for him to become head of state
“When you have lost your leadership
and there was crisis and you don’t know what to do and it happened that those
within your constituency chose you, what would you do?
“I was lucky enough within the
military at that time and all the officers knew me by reputation.
“I had no intention to become head
of state, but it is the opportunity; if opportunity presents itself and people
ask you to do it, then do it.
“What I have achieved is (because
of) God. I had never thought of becoming head of state, but there was a coup
and all my senior colleagues were killed and I was the only one that survived
“My plan was to rise in my
profession and hopefully become a head in my profession, but that did not
“I didn’t know what happened, but I
had the duty and responsibility to ensure the coup in Lagos did not succeed,”