Yakubu Jack Gowon ruled during the deadly Nigerian Civil War, which resulted in the death of 3 million people, most of which were civilians. He took power after the 1966 Nigerian counter-coup and was overthrown in the 1975 Nigerian coup d'état.
In January 1966, he became Nigeria's youngest military chief of staff at the age of 31, because a military coup d'état by a group of junior officers under Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu led to the overthrow of Nigeria's civilian government.
Yakubu Gowon over saw the Nigerian civil war, even though before the war broke out, the former military head of state tried everything possible for it not to happen.
The end of the war came about on 13 January 1970, with Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo 's acceptance of the surrender of Biafran forces. The next day Obasanjo announced the situation on the former rebel radio station Radio Biafra Enugu. Gowon subsequently declared his famous "no victor, no vanquished" speech, and followed it up with an amnesty for the majority of those who had participated in the Biafran uprising, as well as a program of "Reconciliation, Reconstruction , and Rehabilitation ", to repair the extensive damage done to the economy and infrastructure of the Eastern Region during the years of war. [Wikipedia]
Unfortunately, some of these efforts never left the drawing board. In addition to this, Gen. Gowon's administration's policy of giving 20 pounds to Biafran who had a bank account in Nigeria before the war, regardless of how much money had been in their account, was criticised by foreign and local aid workers, as this led to an unprecedented scale of begging, looting and robbery in the former Biafran areas after the war.
According to reports, more than 1 million Igbos were killed due to General Gowons's major strategy to cut food and medical supplies to the Eastern region. Many years after the war, Nigeria as a nation has rebuilt and moved on to greater heights. The Igbos who were mostly killed in the war have also, buried the hatchet.
But the bigger question which is left unanswered is, does Yakubu Gowon owe the Igbos an apology?
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