Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has revealed how he and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), stopped the impeachment of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Gowon who spoke on Saturday at the Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Abisoye Foundation Lecture at the University of Abuja noted that he and Abdulsalami who was also a former Head of State, convinced the National Assembly under the leadership of the then Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim, and Speaker Ghali Na’Abba, to drop Obasanjo’s impeachment plot and let peace to reign.
The oldest Nigerian former leader alive who spoke on the topic; ‘Nation Building or Nation Fragmentation: Reflections on 20 Years of Post-Military Rule in Nigeria’ noted that he saved Obasanjo from impeachment to protect his successors from embarrassments by the legislature, saying that if the then National Assembly had succeeded, future presidents would have suffered same.
“I can assure you that we had some very important discussions and I know that we had to appeal to him and the President of the Senate not to impeach Obasanjo. Of course, because of the respect they had for us, they listened to us.
“This is because if we had allowed them to impeach the President at that time of our democracy, no President in Nigeria would escape being harassed. So, I thank you very much for listening to us,” he said.
Speaking further on the late Maj. Gen. Abisoye, Gowon said that the late general’s achievement in the military showed he took the right decision to serve Nigeria.
“Like me, the late Emmanuel Abisoye chose to join the Nigerian military in preference to other careers which he was eminently qualified. His achievements in his military career showed that he took the right decision to serve his country.
“As young as we were then, our ideals were not self-seeking. Rather they were focused on the growth and development of a strong, stable, viable and indivisible nation.
“As his Commander-In-Chief during the Nigerian crisis of 1967 to 1970, I found his scorecard commendable; he fought gallantly, courageously.”
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political writers. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.