• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

I didn’t sabotage ECOWAS meeting – Gowon

Gowon makes case for increased investment in healthcare infrastructure

… Urged Nigerians to be patient with Tinubu

Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon on Wednesday explained reasons for his absence at the meeting of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS, adding that his absence was not deliberate and not intended to sabotage the organisation.

In an apparent reference to the withdrawal from ECOWAS by Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria’s neighbour, Niger, Gowon said he was absent from the meeting called by the regional body to resolve the issue as one of the ECOWAS founding fathers.

Gowon fielding questions from State House Journalists after meeting with President Bola Tinubu, explained the circumstances leading to his absence at the meeting, adding that the matter has been resolved.

Gowon who was amongst the ECOWAS founding leader in 1975, noted that as a surviving 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”

” I ’m sure some of you have read report that I refused to attend ECOWAS conference isn’t it? Is it you that did that report? Who did that?

“You know that report tried to give the 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 the ECOWAS meeting was part of the discussions he has with President Tinubu

“So that has been done and solved and I hope that we can probably have that message done later on today at ECOWAS headquarters probably by 5pm they will let you know”

Speaking on the economic challenges currently facing the country and the advise he gave to the President, he said ” I was telling him that no Nigerian leader that can get there and will not have all the report of what is being said about him.

“I think the government is trying their best to deal with the various problems of the country

“Don’t you worry you will get criticised but people who get there know better than you know.

“I think all what one can say is that Nigerians, we’ve got to give the President time to things really done.

Gowon who noted that it was too early to sort of get absolute result, added that “perfect result will be achieved”
” That is my opinion. I know and if I can remember, when I was fighting the war I was told I was too slow and that probably Nigeria cannot make it and that we should now seek for discussion. Well, did we do it or not? They probably do not know the problem underground so that is where we are”