Yakubu Gowon

Nigeria
1966 – 1975
Stil Alive
Military Dictator
Yakubu Gowon
Gowon.JPG
3rd Head of State of Nigeria
In office
1 August 1966 – 29 July 1975
Preceded by Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi
Succeeded by Murtala Mohammed
Chief of Army Staff
In office
January 1966 – July 1966
Preceded by Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi
Succeeded by Joseph Akahan
Personal details
Born (1934-10-19) 19 October 1934 (age 79)
Kanke, Plateau State, Nigeria
Spouse(s) Victoria Gowon
Religion Christian

General Yakubu "Jack" Dan-Yumma Gowon (born 19 October 1934) was the head of state (Head of the Federal Military Government) of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975. He took power after one military coup d'état and was overthrown in another. During his rule, the Nigerian government successfully prevented Biafran secession during the 1967–70 Nigerian Civil War.

Gowon directed government forces to remember that they were essentially fighting Nigerians, who were to be encouraged to rejoin the country. He also allowed a team of international observers to monitor the conduct of his troops. After the government victory in January 1970, a remarkable reconciliation took place between victors and vanquished, largely attributable to Gowon’s personal influence. By the mid-1970s Gowon was emerging as an international leader and was involved in the establishment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). On July 29, 1975, however, while Gowon was in Uganda for an Organization of African Unity summit meeting, the army removed him from office.

Gowon was exiled to Great Britain. He was stripped of his rank for allegedly participating in the assassination of his successor, Murtala Mohammed, in 1976. He was pardoned by Shehu Shagari in 1981, and his rank was restored by Ibrahim Babangida in 1987. Having earned a Ph.D. at Warwick University in 1983, he became a professor of political science at the University of Jos in the mid-1980s and attained the status of an elder statesman of Nigerian politics.