Yakubu Gowon, a former head of state, says he and Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former head of state, saved ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo from being impeached in 2007.
Gowon said this at a public lecture tagged: “Nation Building or Nation Fragmentation: Reflection on 20 years of Post-Military Rule in Nigeria”.
The event, which held in Abuja on Saturday, was organised in honour of late Emmanuel Abisoye, a retired major-general.
Pius Anyim and Ghali Na’Abba were the president of the senate and speaker of the house of representatives at the time of the impeachment move.
Gowon, who serves as chairman, board of trustees (BoT) of the Abisoye Foundation, said if Obasanjo had been impeached, those who succeeded him would have faced a similar fate.
“If the action of the legislature, which was to embarrass Chief Obasanjo was allowed to be implemented, those who succeeded him would have faced similar fate,” he said.
“I can see Alhaji Ghali Na’Abbah here and I can assure you 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 and of course, because of the respect they had for us, they listened to us.
“If we had allowed them impeach the president at that time of our democracy, no president in Nigeria would escape being harrassed.”
Gowon said Abisoye gave his all for the service of Nigeria.
“As young as we were then, our ideals were not self-seeking,” he said.
“Rather, they were focused on the growth and development of a strong, stable, viable indivisible and indissoluble nation.”
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