The 80th birthday celebrations of Nigeria’s former military leader, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, begin on Friday and end on Sunday, Oct. 19 (the actual birthday), with church services. Ahead of his birthday, LEADERSHIP newspaper presented him with its award for Man of the Year 2013 on Tuesday.
Gen. Gowon, who led his country into a three-year civil war in the late 1960s, will continue to be grateful for every achievement ascribed to him. He never ceases to explain how someone wrote in a newspaper in the early 1970s that his surname was an acronym for “Go on with one Nigeria”. In his native dialect, however, “Gowon” means something else.
Messages of goodwill will soon start pouring in for the former head of state. President Jonathan, several state governors and leaders of the legislature have already composed messages to be delivered to Gowon on his 80th birthday.