Gowon Plunged Nigeria Into Wilderness – Ego-Alowes
About 48 hours after a former head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), declared that Nigeria is “walking in the wilderness”, an author and developmental economist, Dr. Jimanze Ego-Alowes, has called on Nigerians to hold the former military ruler accountable for the present unpalatable state of things in the country.
Ego-Alowes, according to the Guardian, accused Gowon and succeeding military dictators of northern extraction of imposing an undeveloped empire-state structure on the country, referring to them as internal colonialists with veto powers to annul the wishes of the rest of the country.
Faulting claims by Gowon’s Nigeria Prays pet project that prayer is what the country needs to get out of its political and economic wilderness, he charged the ex-head of state 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.
The public intellectual stated that 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.
While acknowledging that Gowon was correct in saying that Nigeria was in the wilderness, he blamed the former for failing to tell Nigerians that he was the one that plunged the country into the morass as a former dictator.
According to Ego-Alowes, “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.”
He further 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.”