Yakubu Gowon

(redirected from Gowon, Yakubu)

Gowon, Yakubu

(yäko͞o`bo͞o gô`wŏn), 1934–, Nigerian head of state. After entering the Nigerian army in 1954, he advanced (1966) to battalion commander. After Nigeria's second bloody coup in 1966, he was appointed commander in chief of the armed forces and head of the military government. The army put down (1967–70) the secessionist Biafran government of General OjukwuOjukwu, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu
, 1933–2011, Nigerian general and secessionist. Of Igbo background, he joined (1957) the Nigerian army and rose to become (1966–67) military governor of E Nigeria.
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 independent of Gowon, but he led Nigerian reconciliation through his personal influence, becoming a major African leader by 1975. While out of the country in 1975, he was overthrown and began a life of exile in England.

Gowon, Yakubu

 

Born Oct. 19, 1934, in the city of Zaria. Government and military figure in Nigeria; general (1971).

Gowon graduated from secondary school in Zaria (Northern Nigeria) in 1953. Between 1954 and 1957 he underwent training at the military school in Teshi (Ghana) and various military educational institutions in Great Britain. In 1963 he became an aide to the chief of staff of the Nigerian Army; he attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. In January 1966 he was appointed chief of staff of the army. On Aug 1, 1966, Gowon became head of the federal military government and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Federated Republic of Nigeria.