Gen Dr.Yakubu Gowon’s Convocation Lecture

Gen Dr.Yakubu Gowon’s Convocation Lecture

NO VICTORY NO VANQUISHED:  HEALING THE NIGERIAN NATION

TEXT OF THE CONVOCATION LECTURE DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY GENERAL DR. YAKUBU GOWON, GCFR , FORMER HEAD OF STATE & COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA  AT CHUKWUEMEKA ODUMEGWU OJUKWU UNIVERSITY (FORMERLY ANAMBRA STATE UNIVERSITY), IGBARIAM CAMPUS

 

WEDNESDAY, 25 MARCH, 2015

PROTOCOLS

 

  1. I was pleasantly surprised when I received the invitation from the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Fidelis Uzochukwu Okafor, to be here today to deliver the first Convocation Lecture of this institution after its name change from Anambra State University to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University. My first reaction, as a trained officer and a General in the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was to suspect a booby trap, especially against the backdrop of what a host of individuals would consider as my ‘special’ (some might even erroneously say, ‘fractious’) relationship, first, with the Eastern Region/or South East Nigeria but, more importantly, with the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Eze ndi Igbo Gburu (leader of Igbo everywhere), an officer and gentleman in whose honour this institution has been renamed. I would like to state categorically from the onset) it was never out of hatred for the Igbos (Ndigbos) or animosity against my old Comrade and colleague; Emeka, but on principle of commitment to ONE NIGERIA.
  2. When I speak of a ‘booby trap’, I refer to the possibility that some brilliant professors in the Convocation Planning Committee may have deemed this a good time and platform to get me to make an early ‘public presentation’ of my memoirs by other means. I reckoned that the organisers may easily have been persuaded to believe that it would be near-impossible for me to do justice to the subject – No Victor, No Vanquished: Healing the Nigerian Nation – without sharing critical insights into my story vis-a-vis the history of Nigeria, especially in respect of my role in the 30-month Civil War that gave rise to the first part of the topic of this lecture.
  3. In this regard, let me begin by quickly dousing speculations that my late brother and friend, the Ikemba of Nnewi and I probably continued our ‘fight’ until his death in the UK on November 26, 2011. We achieved reconciliation several decades, about four (4) decades ago when we had our first post-Civil War physical meeting in the late 1970s in his room at the Mont Calm Hotel, Marble Arch in London. Before then, he had reached out to me through his friend, Frederick Forsythe who rang the house and spoke to my wife, for him. He then spoke to her and she later informed me at
    Warwick University where I was pursuing my graduate/postgraduate degree programme at the time, When I was back home at the weekend, I called him and arrange to meet, We eventually met at the Mont Calm Hotel, Mable Arch) London, I recall our first meeting was a spontaneous first name call by both of us – Emeka! Jack! Nice meeting you again. We shook hands and embraced each other warmly
    and engaged in heart to heart discussion, reminiscing on the past and expressing hope that we could soon returns and join forces with our compatriots back home to build a better Nigeria. He soon did joining the political foray and I followed later after completing my studies, Many waters have passed under the bridge thereafter, some of Which I may have reason to recall in the course of this lecture,
    4, I readily accepted the invitation to be here for a number of reasons. First, because it presents a good opportunity for me to personally thank the government and people of Anambra State as well as the Governing Council, Senate, staff and students of the former Anambra State University for the posthumous honour that was bestowed on my late former comrade in arms with the name change. I wholeheartedly endorse this gesture, especially in light of the uproar that a similar exercise on behalf of another notable Nigerian generated in one of the nation’s tertiary institutions a few years back, In additions I see the raison d’étre for this lecture as being in tandem with my worldview on the need for consistent reinforcement of knowledge to stem the spread of ignorance and deliberate mis-education of our bright young men and women. I also accepted the invitation because of my abiding faith in the present and the future of our great nation, Nigeria. Yet on a personal note, it is not difficult to
    admit that an invitation to once more visit Uli was hard to decline. One needed to again step foot on the town that symbolised the inventiveness of our brothers and sisters, the Igbo people, from the East. Uli was the hub of aviation activities in war- time Eastern Nigeria and one could only wonder what the horizon would have been had successive governments after my regime followed our blueprint for the development of Nigeria, as encapsulated in the abandoned Third National
    Development Plan 1975 – 1980.
  4. Looking back, it is not difficult to see that we spent a significant part of the nation’s past to chart a course to greatness. We spent another chunk of our history building and defending a united nation. The rest of the time we have spent moving from one political or economic crisis and experiment at nationhood to another, Today, we are on the threshold of history as we take one more step at strengthening democracy and safe-guarding the future of Nigeria and her nationals. We need all hands on deck to make this experiment work for the greater good of our nation and for the sake of Nigerians yet unborn.
  5. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I have had to do this detailed preamble to demonstrate that consider it an honour to be here with you today. I also warmly and sincerely welcome you all to this Convocation lecture, which is a traditional forum for the cross fertilisation of ideas in the academia worldwide. At the risk of preaching to the converted, let me restate that convocations are important for the simple reason that the ceremony celebrates an end as well as a beginning. An ‘end’ because it signifies the formal cessation of classroom teachings for fresh graduates and a ‘beginning’ because it opens a completely new vista for them, I am confident that the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University has made a success of expanding the worldview of its young graduates as well as suitably equipping them to face the challenge of living in a tough world that never fails to punish laziness or reward hard or smart work. Anything to the contrary will defeat the purpose of our celebrating
    academic excellence.
  6. The topic of today’s lecture caused me to quickly reflect on what I said late last year at a gathering similar to this. Permit me to quote from my address at the occasion:

“The management of education in Nigeria today requires all citizens to contribute their quota so that we can have minds that are not only literate but could more maturely grasp the issues that define contemporary reality. One of such realities concerns democracy. One fact that many people may not immediately grasp is that without democracy, economic development can hardly be achieved because a host of the needed support structures, such as education, would be hinged on very weak foundation. If democracy must work, our people must be more than willing to explore possibilities beyond their immediate environment because peace, trust and unity can only exist where people are receptive to new ideas regardless of the political, religious or economic creed of the sponsors of such ideas.1

8, have recalled this because of its relevance to today’s discourse. Let’s not forget that I started out speaking about the ‘redemption of ignorance’ and probable mis-education of our youth. I say this because we cannot meaningfully discuss the concept of ‘No Victory No Vanquished’ and its import for healing our nation without being properly and historically guided to understand where we are coming from and where we are headed. For this reason, I have elected to structure this short lecture
into four easy-to-follow parts, namely:

  1. Nigeria before the Civil War
  2. Nigeria during the Civil War
  3. Nigeria immediately after the Civil War, and
  4. Nigeria in a democratic dispensation

 

NIGERIA BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR:

  1. Our various publications and history books are replete with explanations and clarifications of the way we were before the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, Evidence abound of the milestones attained and the shards of broken dreams that littered the road that we travelled to achieve Independence in 1960, If we diligently search the several pages of our history between October 1, 1960 and July 6, 1967, when the Civil War broke out, we will find enough lessons on what we did right or did
    wrong and adapt these for current and future use to avoid falling into the errors of the past. In all of this, a number of issues stare us in the face. First, is the fact that as a people, we have abiding faith in God and in ourselves and, to that extent, are always willing to be our brothers keepers regardless of religious, political, economic, and cultural differences. Secondly, as we advanced, fear crept in social surreptitiously and before we knew what was happening, we had become suspicious of one another so much so that shouts of ethnic domination became the whip with which the leadership of the political class kept compatriots in different regions of the country in line. Ali manner of evil was perpetrated in the name of advancing narrow regional interests. Corruption, nepotism, treachery and threats or accusations treason became rife. The cord that hitherto bound us snapped and as far as any discerning person could see, it was only a matter of time before the ship of the Nigerian State grounded.
  2. In all of this time, the Military was the bulwark for the protection of democracy and freshly won Independence, In no time, however, even the Military became politicised and polarised. Espirit de corps withered in the face of transient power. Yet some of us held firmly to the tradition of the Military to continue to support civil authority, until some of our younger officer not could control themselves and launched the first of a series of military incursions or interventions into political Nigeria with the first coup d’état on 15 January 1966. The nation never recovered from the onslaught and the recriminations that set in thereafter and only subsided with the re-enthronement of democracy in the Fourth Republic on 29 May, 1999. The wounds, however, are yet to fully heal.

 

NIGERIA DURING THE CIVIL WAR:

  1. The history of Nigeria’s Civil War is fairly familiar to everyone. But several grey areas still exist regarding the cause and course of the War. I have read several accounts of the War with some degree of amusement but often times with critical concern. The more I read of these stories, the more I am convinced that the writing of our history must never be left in the hands of revisionists, especially of the foreign type, most of whom do not understand our narrative; do not understand our pain and, therefore) cannot truly be expected to be bothered with why Nigeria needs to continue to stand strong as one undivided nation.

12 One of the critically misunderstood and misjudged part of our story as a nation pertains to the place of the Aburi Accord and its failure to stop the Civil War. For the avoidance of doubt, the Aburi Accord was meant to enable the principal parties break the ice and to get back together as officers and gentlemen: discuss and solve our problems in our homeland, at home, in our land. The spirit of ‘The True Aburi Accord) was ultimately encapsulated in Decree No. 8 of 1967. The only addition outside the spirit of the Accord was my insistence that a clause barring any part of Nigeria from seceding. This perharps was what made Ojukwu to reject the Decree, Otherwise what we agreed to in Aburi was enshrined in that Decree and we were to implement them to the letter, having given Ojukwu almost all that he wanted. We did that in order to achieve peace and return normalcy to Nigeria. Unfortunately, Ojukwu was the one to renege on our agreement. In fact he did not attend our meeting at NIFOR in Benin City.

13, Before we left Ghana, we had agreed that on return to Nigeria, l, as Nigeria)s Head of State should make the first broadcast after which the other Regional Governors would make theirs. Unfortunately, I was down with serious malaria that I could not make my broadcast but Ojukwu went on air as soon as he got back and claimed that we agreed to a Confederation to which I had always strongly objected. That and other actions taken by him and his government made us to carefully review the Aburi Agreement. I got the Secretary to the Government and some Nigerian Senior Civil Servants to review it. They did and pointed out some serious ramifications of it. Those points were carefully considered and taken into account in drafting the Decree No 8 mentioned earlier, Whoever said that the Aburi Accord faiied as a result of pressure mounted on the Federal side (i.e. me and the Federal Government team) to repudiate it was absolutely mistaken.2

  1. But -the Civil War itself was a direct result of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and secession of the Eastern Region from Nigeria. If there was no secession, there would not have been civil war. Please note and remember that Ojukwu had taken a number of illegal actions against the country. Among these were the hijacking of Nigeria Airways plane, the confiscation of railways rolling stock; the annexation of branches of the Central Bank and post offices in the Eastern Region as well as the approbation of Federal revenue in the Region. All these in order to buttress the secession. The secession, more than anything else, left me with no other option than to take ‘Police Action” that was later upgraded to full “Military Action” after the Biafran Army ventured into and overran the hitherto ‘neutral’ Mid- West Region. Even with the outbreak of hostilities, we never referred to our Eastern compatriots as “enemf not minding the fact that they used that and similar other terms e.g. ‘Northern Vandals’ to describe the Nigerian side. The worst description we came up with was to refer to them as “rebels”.
  2. This was a deliberate action on our pan, as we were determined to fight a humane war; a war of unity with a view to bringing our brothers and sisters in the East back to the mainstream of a United Nigerian nation. Our resolve at ensuring that settlement or reconciliation should not be difficult to achieve was underscored by the 11-point Code of Conduct that was given to every Nigerian officers and men, soldier who was made to understand the grave repercussions for any breach of the Code. For ease of reference, the Code of Conduct is reproduced as follows:
  3. Under no circumstances must a pregnant woman be ill-treated or killed.
  4. Children will not be molested or killed They will be protected and cared for.
  5. Youths and school children must not be attacked unless they are engaged in open hostility against the Federal Government Forces. They should be given all protection and care. Hospitals, hospital staff and patients should not be tampered with or molested.
  6. Soldiers who surrender will not be killed. They are to be disarmed and treated as Prisoners-of-war. They are entitled in all circumstances to humane treatment and respect for their person and honour.
  7. No property, building and so on will be destroyed maliciously. Churches and Mosques must not be desecrated.
  8. No looting of any kind because a good soldier never loots.
  9. Women will be protected against any attack on their person, honour, and in particular against rape or any form of indecent assault.
  10. Male civilians who are hostile to the Federal Forces are to be dealt with firmly but fairly. They must be humanely treated.
  11. All military men and civilians wounded will be given necessary medical attention and care. They must be respected and protected in all circumstances.
  12. Foreign nationals on legitimate business will not be molested, but mercenaries will not be spared. They are the worst enemies.
  13. No matter how hard we tried to avoid it, lives were sadly, yet inevitably, lost in the 30-month long war. In the end, however, the scale of casualties was limited because we did not launch an all-out-war against identified ‘external’ enemies. I will like to emphasise that our belief in a ‘united’ Nigeria is predicated on the notion that no single identity group, society or community has all the answers or resources to solve its immediate and even long-term needs, for which reason it behoves all citizens to enrich themselves and the nation by living in harmony and putting all their common fates into one national entity,3 We deeply recognised the diversity in our cultural milieu and this became the basis for our commitment to the concept of ‘Unity in Diversity’, which is not peculiar to Nigeria but is a dimension of social engineering in several societies of the world. Again$ borrowing from a lecture I delivered at the Nigerian Defence Academy, I will like to reiterate that:

“The concept of “national unity” refers not just to the feeling or sense of oneness and willingness to tolerate one another and the readiness to defend the country; it also means the promotion and attainment of a national consciousness whereby most members of the society understand and defend the principle that ‘difference’ enriches human interactions. “4

  1. From all indications, God and fortune was at work on behalf of our nation during this trying period. Had it not been so, the harvest of deaths and the destruction of property would not only have been mind-boggling/troubling but it would have cause extreme bitterness that would have made post-war reconciliation difficult, if not impossible. Even when it has been proved beyond doubt that everything humanly possible was done by the Federal Government to keep casualty figures at the barest minimum, not the propaganda in millions of casualties. Our country, today, still grapples with pockets of social, economic, political and cultural resentments carried over from the Civil War era. Naturally, this observation keenly informed some of the policy initiatives that I spearheaded in the post-war reconstruction of Nigeria.

 

NIGERIA IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CIVIL WAR

18, When, mercifully, the Nigerian Civil War ended on 12 January and officially on 15, January 1970 with my acceptance of the Instrument of Surrender from Col. Phillip Effiong who then headed the rebel enclave in the absence of its de facto leader, Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, who had earlier travelled out of his territory in search of the peace, I knew that our nation’s proverbial journey of a thousand miles was just about to commence, I knew that our first tentative steps on that journey would count for much) not just amongst us Nigerians but in the comity of nations. I was mindful that my place in history would be determined by how well or badly we tackled the immediate challenges of a young nation that had just emerged from the ravages of war. Let us not forget that the officers and men who conducted the war on both sides of the divide were young with average age range of between 27 and 36, hence it would have been understandable if any rash decisions were taken in the heat of the moment.

  1. Again, God was in control of our situation as a nation. He granted us the wisdom to be magnanimous in victory. Consequently, rather than bask in the euphoria of perceived victory, we chose to travel down a road never before traveled by any nation in the history of wars in the world. We decided that there was no gain in accumulating the spoils of war. Instead, we chose to face our most challenging task of achieving reconciliation, national reintegration within the shortest possible time. That worldview made it possible for us to quickly and deliberately administer healing balm to take care of hurts and wounds. It underscored our philosophy of No Victor, No Vanquished which I pronounced in my speech to the nation after we silenced the guns and rolled up our sleeves as we set our hands on the plough to rebuild Nigeria. Our search for solutions to the problems of the aftermath of war and destruction made it imperative that we established a set of guiding principles as anchors for our determined forward march This was the basis of our introduction of the 3- Rs….Reconciliation, (Reintegration) Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, which, we must, understand did not just try to rapidly address issues of immediate socio- economic and infrastructural concerns but vividly underpinned my vision of the future; a vision of a greater, united Nigeria in which anyone, from the East West, North and South could aspire to success in any field of human endeavour.
  2. We began our effort at self-purification by ensuring that our solution to the healing process was home-grown. We devised our game plan without external help; we rejected emergency assistance for help from nations that did not help our cause at the time of our greatest need and we extended an olive branch, to hand of reconciliation, especially African nations that hid under the cloak of recognising the rebellion. There were no reprisals against any group or individuals just as soldiers quickly dropped their guns to render helping hands to the civilian populace. Against all odds, Nigeria survived an uncommon experience, we were able to resolve our problems and avoided foreign outside interference, and has remained a reference point in the healing of post-war trauma across the world.
  3. We must not forget that the even geographical spread of infrastructural development across Nigeria in the spirit of the 3Rs and the dictum of No Victor, No Vanquished helped to assure the people that we meant business. We were helped a great deal by the fact that no extensive damage was done to infrastructural facilities in most part of the country throughout the period of the war. What my administration succeeded in doing was the consolidation and expansion of the nation’s infrastructural base by embarking on projects that complement and improved on what was on ground. What this has meant is that communities across the nation can only complain of not getting enough, not of having been abandoned.

22 In order to further cement our commitment to the unity of Nigeria, my government initiated the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. The raison d’étre for the founding of the NYSC is multifarious but the most critical of the objectives was the cultural integration of our Youths, young graduates who were posted to communities outside their home States to know their country, to serve and help!. Today, the result of this initiative is apparent, for there is hardly any household in this country that is in its purest form. Inter-ethnic marriages have created a new Nigeria that is a lot more difficult to break up without severing blood ties. Although the circumstances and realities of modern day Nigeria have conspired to dilute the essence of inaugurating the NYSC scheme, the spirit of the programme remains alive and well, Contrary to the views being canvassed in certain quarters that the NYSC has outlived its usefulness, I wish to submit that we take a closer look at the philosophy that undergirds the programme.

  1. The NYSC, it goes without saying, was not intended as a pool to provide cheap labour for government and the private sector. No. On the contrary; the overriding goal was (and still remains) to bring together the youth of our nation and to know ,.their country better and in the process, achieve rapid transfer of cultural values that easily allow young men and women who would shape the future of Nigeria to bond and better appreciate the unity in our diversity. To the extent that this perspective remains at the core of the programme I am confident that the NYSC scheme will forever remain a critical point for consideration in any serious effort to keep Nigeria one. It is for this reason that even,’ effort must be made to preserve the scheme and buy more time for the survival of our nation in the long haul.

 

NIGERIA IN A DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION

  1. The democratic experience in Nigeria has been terminated and re-instituted at least four times between 1966 and 1999. The quest for participatory democracy encouraged successive administrations to try out all manner of political permutations including the Option A4 open ballot system by which voters lined up to be counted behind their candidates, In spite of the twists and turns on the political terrain, the resolve of the people to remain united in their quest to emplace an enduring democracy towards the building of a new Nigeria has stood the test of time. Bit by bit, we have seen the lever of power shifting amongst the geo-political zones of the country. The pace of shift may not have been as fast as many people would have wanted but that this has happened qualifies to be recorded as some form of progress. In this regard I was happy to see an Igbo Officer rose to be Chief of Army Staff, Secretary General of The Commonwealth and Vice Chancellors of Various Universities and so on.
  2. I hope and am sure my brothers and sisters in the South-East will be a lot happier when Ndigbo have the opportunity to attain the presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This, to all intents and purposes, will help to achieve some measure of closure on memories of the Civil War. I align with this position and it is the reason for my support of the principle of rotation of power in Nigeria. The net gain in this is that Nigeria wilt continues to gradually shed the toga of political instability and the dread of ethnic domination that hitherto defined political and socio-cultural relationships in our country. These gains notwithstanding, challenges will still remain, especially as they relate to insecurity occasioned by the actions of insurgents and ethnic militias.
  3. By the special grace of the Almighty God, I have now lived 80 fulfilling years into which has been packed momentous events both in my personal life and in the life of Nigeria. In all of these years, I have been fortunate to have had two prime calls, one in war time Nigeria – to keep Nigeria ‘one’ — and the other in peace time – also to maintain the unity of Nigeria. Whilst the former call was supported with guns and bullets; the latter call is anchored not in involvement in political pursuit, but on the word of God, as made manifest in 2 Chronicles 7: 14:

“If my people, which are called by my name , shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

27, This exhortation, amongst several other factors, encouraged me, acting in concert with several men and women of faith and goodwill to inaugurate Nigeria Prays, an inter-denominational and inter-faith group of which I am the Convener and Chairman. What we do basically, as can easily be deduced from the name, is to pray for Nigeria in all its ramifications calling for peace and love of our country and people. Since 1996 when the group was founded, we have held prayers for the country in all the 36 States of the country and in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory several times. We also have convened prayer sessions outside the country, UK and USA, to intercede for our dear nation. I believe that our prayers and the prayers of other lovers of this country are borne out of a deep sense of patriotism and they have contributed to the relative peace and stability of Nigeria. Looking back, perhaps the process of healing Nigeria of the wounds of the Civil War would have received tremendous boost if I had invited Emeka Ojukwu to the Ministry, as I wrote in my condolence message to his family5:

The only regret I have is that I did not make an effort to draft Emeka into our Nigeria Prays ministry to join me and many others in praying for Nigeria. Who knows whether with his experience of the horrors of the civil war and the powers of prayer we would not have sooner been saved the scourge of the violence, bombing, kidnappings and mayhem being lately experienced in the nation.

  1. When my ‘sparring partner’, Emeka, and locked horns in the 1960s, we did not get into that position because we wanted ‘to pursue any self-interest. We were driven by our love of our people and our nation, which was something that we had in common6:

“Ojukwu and I had one thing in common. We were both principled men and it might even be said that the Civil War resulted largely because we both stuck to our principles! We swore an oath of loyalty to our country to defend and preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country, Nigeria. This was the ideal we both held before the crises that engulfed the Country in 1966-1967. I concede, in all honesty, that Emeka Ojukwu could be justified in taking a stand for the defence and protection of his people in the circumstances of the country at the time. I was trying to do the same at the national level (that included them and his people) at that time. I understand and respected his position but not the extreme position he took which I felt was misguided. I wished we had toiled more to avoid secession. I strongly believe that if Ojukwu was in my shoes he would have done exactly the same as I did during those crucial days. What was done was not out of personal or group dislike or hatred. Emeka was never my enemy nor are the Igbo, We never disliked each other. We only disliked the stand and actions taken by the other.”

  1. The upcoming elections on March 28 and April 1 1) 2015, present us with, perhaps; the best opportunity yet to renew our hope for national rebirth through the ballot box rather than through the muzzles of guns. Our goal, in the main, should be to institute selfless leadership that takes the welfare of citizens as Job Number One, It goes without saying, therefore, that economically emancipated and happy citizens will be all-too happy to complement the drive of visionary leadership to build, one block after another, a Nigeria that will stand tall in the comity of nations. But we cannot achieve this if we fail to vote our conscience and do so in an atmosphere that is devoid of violence, which can only drive us further apart. As history has proved, no nation has ever survived two civil wars; hence, the saying that it is better to ‘jaw-jaw than to war-war’. It is only when we recognise and conform to this viewpoint that we can secure the future of our nation and speak loud enough for all to hear that Nigeria will not, as predicted, break up in 2015 or in any other year for that matter. I am that
    confident in the survival of Nigeria as a nation and that, precisely, was the reason I was prepared to lay down my life to defend my country. As it is said, what is not worth dying for is not worth living for. A number of our compatriots paid the supreme price to uphold this same belief, We can only pray that God will continue to grant their patriotic souls eternal repose.

CONCLUSION

  1. I believe it is important that I end this presentation by once more acknowledging the, honour done my late friend) Emeka, with the name change of this university. There is little doubt that this gesture will not only build his reputation amongst the intelligentsia (with whom he was truly comfortable), it will also cover every other member of the larger ‘Odumegwu-Ojukwu’ family whose lineage have given prominence to the geographical space now known as Anambra State.
  2. I wish to commend the Vice-Chancellor, the Governing Council, staff and students of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University as well as member of the organising committee of this year’s convocation for a job very well done. And to all graduating students, I wish you what I was wished as I graduated from the Royal Sandhurst Military Academy: ‘happy hunting’.

32, I thank you, distinguished ladies and gentlemen for your kind attention. God bless you all.
REFERENCES

  1. Dr. Yakubu Gowon, Remarks at the second convocation ceremony of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Ado Ekiti, Tuesday, 21 October, 2014)
  2. .
  3. Yakubu Gowon, The Role Of The Nigerian Defence Academy In Nigeria’s National Unity (11th Convocation Lecture delivered at the NDA in honour of 61RC Graduating Cadets and Postgraduate students), 11 September, 2014
  4. cit
  5. Gen Yakubu Gowon: Tribute To Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, 2012
  6. cit

 

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