A former military Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon has described the allegations leveled against him by a United Kingdom parliament member, Tom Tugendhat that he stole half of Nigeria’s money stocked in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) during his regime as “mere rubbish fallacy”.
General Gowon, who told the BBC News Pidgin that he served Nigeria with utmost fear of God said his legacies were visible to everyone.
“What the MP said was just mere ridicule and I don’t know as to where he cooked up such statement. I served Nigeria as much as I could and my achievements during those years are available to everyone,” he said.
He, however, promised not to engage in any form of argument over the matter as people who knew him very well would speak in his defence.
“I don’t want to talk over the matter since those who know me very well say that the MP’s statement is nothing but a mere fallacy,” he added.
On Tuesday, British MPs passed a vote for UK’s government to sanction some Nigerian government officials were involved in brutalising EndSARS protesters.
While debating, Mr Tugendhat alleged that bribery and corruption were the causes of Nigeria’s underdevelopment, citing an example that Gen. Gowon stole more than half of country’s worth in its central bank and stashed the sum in London when he was toppled.
Gen. Gowon ruled Nigeria from 1966 to 1975 before his government was overthrown while he was away from Nigeria.
He was directly flown to the United Kingdom and enrolled in a studentship at Warwick University.
General Yakubu Gowon was attending the OAU Summit in Kampala, Uganda when his regime was toppled by Gen Murtala Mohammed on 29 July, 1975. He was asked to return back to Nigeria with Murtala promising to accord him all respect and privileges due but he refused and went on exile in the UK.
While Gowon was in the UK he enrolled as an Undergraduate to study Political Science at the university of Warwick. Even the British government were shocked at this. As an Undergraduate Gowon was always queuing for food at the University cafeteria just like every other student. The Nigerian Government was so embarrassed when the Pictures surfaced in the media that they sent then Brigadier TY Danjuma to talk to Gowon to adopt a more dignified stance which the government was ready to pay for.
Gowon rejected the government offers by reassuring them that he was comfortable with his situation and don’t need any assistance.
Gowon has maintained that very moderate lifestyle till date. General Yakubu Gowon has been leading a group called “Nigeria Prays”, a group of Christian Intercessors who pray for Nigeria across board since 1996 till date.