LAGOS, Nigeria – Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, has reacted to the corruption allegations against a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, by a British parliamentarian.
The Peoples Democratic Party’s chieftain said he has always berated Gowon over his role in the mass murder and genocide of 3 million Igbos during the civil war but insisted that the former military leader is not a thief and neither did he amass wealth for himself when he was Head of State.
Fani-Kayode described as false the allegation that Gowon took half of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, with him when he went on exile to the UK.
Recall that a member of the United Kingdom Parliament, Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) on Monday took a swipe at retired General Gowon.
Gowon was Nigeria’s Head of State of Nigeria from 1966 to 1975.
During the debate on a petition on End SARS, Tugendhat accused him and the country’s leaders of corruption
Decrying the situation in Nigeria, the lawmaker said: “One of the great countries is, sadly, being racked by violence, and violence against young people.
But in a series of tweets, Fani-Kayode said, “Whatever you may say or feel about General Yakubu Gowon it is NOT true that he took half of Central Bank with him when he went on exile to the UK and studied at Warwick University after being removed in a coup by General Murtala Mohammed.
“I have my views about Gowon and what I consider to be his role in the mass murder and genocide of 3 million Igbos during the civil war and I have often expressed it but he was NOT a thief and neither did he amass wealth for himself when he was Head of State.
“As a matter of fact he was the darling of the British Government & no Nigerian leader, living or dead, has been as close to successive British Governments as him.
“This very young British MP is trying to revise history and demonise a man who served and protected British interests in Nigeria when he was in power more than any other and this is most dishonorable and unfair.
“The truth is that the greatest looters in the history of humanity were the British themselves and their Empire enslaved, looted and pillaged entire nations and continents.
“If he wants to criticise Nigerian leaders let him do so with facts and not fabricate lies in a scurrilous and essentially racist attempt to confirm the stereotyping of every Nigerian and African leader as being corrupt.
“The truth is that even though they pretend and sweep it under the carpet, there are as many corrupt British leaders, government officials and public servants today as there are Nigerian and this has always been the case.
“The difference is that they are not so obvious and brazen and they cover theirs up very well in a very sophisticated banking system which thrives on taking in dirty money and keeping it.
“Whoever this MP is should get his facts right and stick to talking about the #EndSARS protests rather than talk about our history which he evidently knows nothing about.”