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Restructuring: “If true federalism means breakaway, it is not my way of thinking” – Yakubu Gowon

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PIC. 22. FORMER HEAD OF STATE, GEN. YAKUBU GOWON (L), WITH THE SENATOR REPRESENTING KADUNA CENTRAL, SEN. SHEHU SANI, DURING THE SENATOR’S COURTESY VISIT TO HIM IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY (3/8/16). 5464/3/8/2016/JAU/HF/BJO/NAN

FORMER HEAD OF STATE, GEN. YAKUBU GOWON (L), WITH THE SENATOR REPRESENTING KADUNA CENTRAL, SEN. SHEHU SANI, DURING THE SENATOR’’S COURTESY VISIT TO HIM IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY (3/8/16).
5464/3/8/2016/JAU/HF/BJO/NAN

Former Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon, says there is nothing wrong with restructuring the country provided it is done within the “One Nigeria” context.

Gowon stated this when Sen. Shehu Sani, the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Wednesday.

Reacting to calls by some Nigerians to restructure the country, Gowon said there was nothing wrong with restructuring.

He 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 from seceding. 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.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Gowon, through a broadcast in 1967, announced the creation of 12 states; which were, North-Western, North-Eastern, Kano and North-Central states.

Others were, Benue-Plateau, Kwara, Western, Lagos, Mid-Western, Rivers (a South-Eastern state), East Central, and East-Central states.

The former head of state added that the call for true federalism by some Nigerians was also not a bad idea, as long as it was done within the context of the nation’s unity.

“What is true federalism? As long as it means respect for oneness of our country, it is alright, but if it means to breakaway, it is not my way of thinking,” he said.

PIC. 23. FORMER HEAD OF STATE, GEN. YAKUBU GOWON (M), DISPLAYING A BOOK PRESENTED TO HIM BY PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AUTHORS (ANA), DENJA ABDULLAHI (R), DURING A COURTESY VISIT TO THE FORMER HEAD OF STATE BY THE SENATOR REPRESENTING KADUNA CENTRAL, SEN. SHEHU SANI (2ND-R) IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY (3/8/16). WITH THEM ARE: FORMER MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DR WALE OKEDIRAN AND FORMER GENERAL SECRETARY OF ANA, SALAMATU SULE. 5465/3/8/2016/JAU/HF/BJONAN

FORMER HEAD OF STATE, GEN. YAKUBU GOWON (M), DISPLAYING A BOOK PRESENTED TO HIM BY PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AUTHORS (ANA), DENJA ABDULLAHI (R), DURING A COURTESY VISIT TO THE FORMER HEAD OF STATE BY THE SENATOR REPRESENTING KADUNA CENTRAL, SEN. SHEHU SANI (2ND-R) IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY (3/8/16). WITH THEM ARE: FORMER MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DR WALE OKEDIRAN AND FORMER GENERAL SECRETARY OF ANA, SALAMATU SULE. 5465/3/8/2016/JAU/HF/BJONAN

Photo Credit: NAN PHOTO

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

4 Comments

  1. Weezy

    August 3, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I think the restructuring advocates should organize themselves better and speak with one voice. While they are at it, kindly push for a secular Nigeria, in which religion (whether islam or christianity) and state are separate.

    • Mohammad

      August 4, 2016 at 12:17 am

      Thank you. Keep your superstitions private and stop expecting anyone else to agree with or conform to your spuriously selected belief system.

  2. Seun

    August 3, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    The worst is tribalism,the restructuring cannot work,unless we improve our police units and hospitals.Police to curb lawlessness I.e corruption and criminal activities.

    Good and standard hospitals to break the cycle of superstition,thereby freeing so many from ignorance of the mind that different religious body use to brain wash our people.

  3. Naijatalk

    August 3, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    You were concerned about the map looking funny? Are you serious right now? Atarom gi. I don’t blame you at all. Let’s all continue to fester in this cesspool until we all get sick from the poo sogbon.

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