On this day in 1934, a retired Nigerian Politician and former Army General who was Nigeria’s Head of State from August 1, 1966 to July 29, 1975, Yakubu Gowon, was born in Kanke Local government in Plateau State, North-Central Nigeria.
He took over power in Nigeria following the bloody July 29 mutiny of Northern Soldiers in 1966 and remain the youngest man to rule Africa’s biggest black nation, he was a 31-year-old Lieutenant Colonel from the Army headquarters when he assume Control of the nation.
General Gowon’s government was overthrown by the same Men who brought him to power nine years earlier in 1975.
Following the assassination of Nigeria’s new head of State, Gen. Murtala Muhammed on February 13 1976 during a failed Coup Gowon was implicated by the ring leader of the plot, Lt. Col. BS Dimka of complicity and Nigeria urged the British government to send Gen. Gowon back home so he could be investigated and tried but the British government did not grant Nigeria’s wish and the Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo regime dismissed him from the Army and stopped all his entitlements.
The Civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari later granted Gen. Gowon a state pardon.
Gen. Gowon is now an elder’s statesman and is living a quiet life.
Gen. Yakubu Gowon turns 84 today.