Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A voice from the past

A former military dictator has been elected president of Nigeria. Another former military dictator has spoken about the role of Jonathan's concession in that process.

Yakubu "Jack" Gowon ruled Nigeria during the Biafran war. He has a PhD in political science from the University of Warwick, so he speaks from experience and from academia. He tried to end the Biafran seccession on the principle of "no victor no vanquished," and to some degree succeeded. The massive influx of wealth from high oil prices in the early 1970s created massive opportunities for corruption. While Gowon was not implicated, his government was blamed and overthrown in 1975.

He spent many years in exile in the UK and more recently has been active in NGOs promoting good government and public health.

Jonathan's Concession of Victory Proves Nigeria Has Future, Says Gowon
FORMER Head of State... Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) yesterday, said the uncommon action of President Goodluck Jonathan in conceding victory in the last general election shows that the country has a future…

Gowon… said Jonathan's congratulatory telephone call to his opponent, Muhammadu Buhari brought a sense of relief, not just to Nigeria and Africa but the whole world.

He said by that singular act, Jonathan told the world a bright future lies ahead for Nigeria, even as he called on leaders, past or present to be mindful of their actions and utterances so as not to create tension that could put the peace and future of the nation in jeopardy…

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