‘How Yakubu Gowon plunged Nigeria into wilderness, imposed internal colonialism’
A developmental economist and public intellectual, Dr. Jimanze Ego-Alowes, has faulted Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s Nigeria Prays pet project’s claim that prayer is what the country needs to get out of its political and economic wilderness.
Rather, he tasked Nigerians to hold the former military Head of State accountable for the current malaise plaguing the country, when he, Gowon, and succeeding military dictators of northern extraction, imposed an undevelopable empire-state structure on the country, with them as internal colonialists with veto powers to annul the wishes of the rest of the country.
He said the creation of multiple states and local councils was the instrument the military dictators deployed to foster imbalance in the country to the disadvantage of the other ethnic nations.
He, therefore, charged Gowon to confer with former dictators to return Nigeria to its pre-1967 national boundaries, when the country was a nation-state, to ensure peace and genuine development.
Ego-Alowes, whose new book, How and Why the Yoruba Fought and Lost the Biafra-Nigeria Civil War, is due for launch on Thursday in Lagos, said Gowon was correct in saying that Nigeria was in the wilderness, but noted that he failed to tell Nigerians that he was the one that plunged the country into the morass as a former dictator.
According to him: “General Yakubu Gowon is absolutely correct. Nigeria is in the wilderness. The only point that Gowon forgot to remind us is that it was he, Gowon, who drove and plunged the nation into this wilderness. As a budding dictator, Gowon turned the nation away from the path of civilisation (when he rejected Aburi agreements negotiated with Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu in Ghana in 1967) of a commonly negotiated state and decided that war and the rule of the jungle was the way to build nations.
“However fanciful any party may get, it is a matter of historical record that Gowon and cohorts abjured on the rules of negotiated harmony and imposed those of the reign of terror and war. Perhaps, Gown was driven by a false sense of personal destiny and regional hegemony, or perhaps he naively thought actions have no consequences.”
Ego-Alowes argued that Nigeria is currently “living through the manifestations of the historical malevolence of Gowon and advisers in preferring war to negotiation. And we all must acknowledge that no amount of prayer can turn jungle rule into a civilised living. We need to tell ourselves these self-evident truths.”