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Gowon: I didn’t turn down FG, ECOWAS invitation to speak on coups

Gowon: I didn’t turn down FG, ECOWAS invitation to speak on coups
February 21
19:47 2024

Yakubu Gowon, former Nigerian head of state, says he did not turn down an invitation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene in the coups ravaging the region.

Gowon spoke on Wednesday after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the State House in Abuja.

There were media reports that the former head of state turned down an invitation from the ministry of foreign affairs in collaboration with ECOWAS, to speak at a “press conference” at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Gowon was reportedly supposed to speak on the current state of affairs at the regional level, with regards to coups and subsequent threats by the Republic of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to exit the bloc and likely proffer solutions.


Gowon who is one of the founding fathers of ECOWAS described the allegation as a miscommunication, adding that he came to meet the president for that purpose.

“This is my first visit to Mr President since the inauguration but I was there at the inauguration to wish him well and all success,” the former head of state said.

“If you remember how busy he was after that visitors, members of government, various personalities, so it was not possible for me to be able to see him.


“After that time I had to travel abroad but from broad he was able to reach me on my birthday and after that interesting social media report that I was dead.

“But when I came back I made a number of efforts but unfortunately I think because of his busy programme it was not possible for me to see him.

“But luckily enough, this time he was able to give me the opportunity to see him and to discuss various matters especially the issue of the ECOWAS problem at the moment which I think needs to be resolved.

“And being the surviving leader, or founding fathers of the ECOWAS I think we had to discuss some of his plans in order to see what can be done to bring the matter under control.


“So, this is what has brought me here and we had a very interesting meeting and I’m sure some of you have read reports that I refused to attend ECOWAS conference isn’t it? Is it you that did that report? Who did that? You know, trying to give that impression that it was me who was probably trying to sort of sabotage ECOWAS.

“No, that is not the case. I think there was a miscommunication but then it gave the opportunity for Mr President to call me so that we can discuss what I was to do.”

Gowon said resolutions were made regarding the situation, adding that the messages would be passed across in due time.



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