Gowon Gives Candid Advice To Nnamdi Kanu

Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), A former Head of State, has advised the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to seek dialogue with the Federal Government rather than agitate to address issues affecting the South-East. He advised the IPOB leader not to seek disintegration as it could lead to loss of lives.

Gowon stated this on Friday while presenting his paper titled, “Unity in diversity: Responding to the current challenges of nation-building in Nigeria,” at the 2017 Distinguished Annual Lecture of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Jos, Plateau State.

He said, “My young friend, Nnamdi Kanu, was not born during the civil war, which was declared ‘no victor, no vanquished.’ It is sad to recall what happened at that time; the best way to seek redress is through dialogue.

“Kanu should pursue a healthy conversation on issues he is not comfortable with as it affects his people; this is the only way we can collaborate effectively and have things resolved amicably.”

Speaking further at the event, Gowon said that the activities of Fulani herdsmen had posed a threat to nation-building. The elder statesman asked the Federal Government to address the issue, which he said had become a nightmare for the country.

He said, “Today, the activities of nomadic herdsmen and cattle rustlers pose a serious challenge to the process of state-building.

“The activities of these groups have also polarised communities along ethnic and religious fault lines, which have had a serious impact on state-building.” Gowon said one of the solutions to dealing with the problem of herdsmen attacks was to find those supplying them arms as the Fulani in the past were not known for carrying arms.

Insisting that the creation of Nigeria was for a purpose, Gowon said, “There is nowhere else other than Nigeria that God assembled the highest concentration of black people around the world in one country.

Gowon Talks On Why Nigeria Cannot Be Restructured

Former Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has asserted that the current composition of Nigeria makes it impossible for the country to be restructured.

He explained that Nigeria is made up of over 500 ethnic groups and equal number of ideas about restructuring; therefore, instead of agitating for restructuring, the people must have faith in the indivisibility of the country.

Speaking in Minna, Niger State; Gowon further noted that most states will frown at the option of merging with other states for the proposed restructuring into regions to occur.

He said, “Nigeria is made up of over 500 ethnic groups, languages and dialects and so many various groups called nationalities and they want restructuring. This restructuring everybody is asking for, we will have about 500 different ideas of restructuring.

“There is call for restructuring to reduce the number of states to only a few either back to the old region or to the zones.

“Those are some of the ideas that I do not know whether it will be possible for any state today to wish to be merged with another state. Let us see whether our politicians will see guidelines to be able to achieve what they want.

“But I have my problem whether the states will be financially capable to they will be able to run there states properly.”