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My ambition was just to be a good soldier. I never planned to be head of state —Gowon



A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd), said on Friday he was petrified when he emerged Nigeria’s leader 45 years ago.

Gowon was 31 years old when he led a military coup that toppled Major General Aguiyi Ironsi’s regime on July 29, 1966.

The ex-military ruler, who addressed participants at a reality history competition organised by the ANISZA Foundation and Gallery, said his ambition at the period was just to be a good soldier.

Gowon said: “I felt petrified when I took over as Head of State.”

“I never planned to be the president, it just happened.”

READ ALSO: Igbos are marginalized in Nigeria, holistic correction of imbalance required – Gowon

He also relived some of his life experiences, and counselled young Nigerians on right attitudes and values.

He advised them to contribute their quotas to national development.

The former head of state reiterated his faith in the Nigerian youth and the country’s potential for greatness.

“We can live in peace and unity irrespective of our religions and tribes,” Gowon added.

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