The President of African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, took to his Twitter account on Thursday to defend a former Nigerian Head of State, Yakubu Gowon. He cautioned the public against misinformation, calling Gowon a man of great honour and impeccable integrity.
His tweet came after a British lawmaker, Tom Tugendhat, accused Gowon of “stealing half of Nigeria’s Central Bank”.
Tugendhat spoke on Monday during a parliamentary debate on a petition seeking that the United Kingdom government impose sanctions on Nigerian officials involved in the alleged excessive use of force on peaceful protesters during the #EndSARS protests.
Gowon, however, denied the accusation, calling it “rubbish”.
“I don’t know where he got that rubbish from, I served Nigeria diligently and my records are there for all to see,” the former Nigerian Head of State said.
Akinwunmi Adesina earlier this year faced an allegation by a group that described itself as concerned staff members of the bank that he violated the code of conduct of the institution. After thorough investigations, Adesina was cleared of all allegations and re-installed as the President of AfDB.
Be careful of misinformation! H.E. General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former Head of State, is a man of great honour, decency, honesty, amazing simplicity, humility and integrity. I know him. A great and admirable elder statesman of Nigeria. His honesty and integrity are impeccable. pic.twitter.com/YznYN873qH
— Akinwumi A. Adesina (@akin_adesina) November 26, 2020
However, some Nigerians reacted differently on Twitter, disagreeing with Akinwunmi’s statement and even brought up the ‘Aburi Accord’ and the war that took place during Gowon’s regime which led to the death of an estimate of 3 million people.
In 1967, Aburi Accord was reached in Ghana at a meeting attended by the Head of Nigeria, Gowon and the Eastern delegates, led by the Eastern Region’s leader Colonel Ojukwu. The meeting was thought to be the last chance to prevent all-out war in Nigeria. It was held between 4 and 5 January 1967.
“Man of great honor”—Reneged on a pact he signed in Aburi in the presence of the world
“Decency, amazing simplicity, humility—Held a lavish wedding in the middle of a war
“Integrity”—reneged on his promise to hand over to civilian government time & again
You’re the misinformed https://t.co/yBMZceiqEN
— C H U K W U K A X A V I E R (@chukaobi) November 26, 2020
AfDP President Adesina could support General Gowon all he wants but saying a coupist & someone who reneged on the Aburi accord, leading to the civil war & the death of about 3 million people is decent, honest, humble & a man of integrity is nothing but outright falsehood.
— Tope Akinyode (@TopeAkinyode) November 26, 2020
Nigeria is literally the only place on earth where someone who oversaw a genocide of 3 million human souls is described as "a man of great honour" and "an elder statesman."
One day your grandchild will see this tweet and wonder if you actually went mad. https://t.co/gWqJp0egCI
— Binta Bhadmus Stan Account (@DavidHundeyin) November 26, 2020
Good Morning sir,
I just googled your age. It says 60 years old. Gen Gowon says he’s 84.
My point is at the time of the Biafra war and the Aburi accord you were 6 years old. At the time of Gowon escape you were less that 10 or not more.
Allow the Gen speak for himself. https://t.co/aOesaXIsTX
— Hrh d'Duchess Onyx (@HRH_onyx) November 26, 2020
He violated the Aburi accord, oversaw a genocide that saw the death of millions of children, a “war” where more children than soldiers were killed by deliberate starvation, one that he could’ve prevented.
But sure, “he is a man of great integrity.” So was Awolowo. https://t.co/jiLEPSx3CE
— ULOMA (@ulxma) November 26, 2020
Akin Adesina is now Yakubu Gowon’s mouthpiece. These old people will never learn. There is no misinformation here. Gowon is many things but honest. He is the war criminal who renegaded on Aburi Accord, killed 3m Igbos, starved children to death. Gowon & his ilk will burn in HELL. pic.twitter.com/JrH83O5LzN
— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) November 26, 2020
you were very quiet during #EndSARS but suddenly you care about the reputation of an old man who couldn't honor the Aburi Accord and killed over 3 million of my people during the war. fuck you @akin_adesina https://t.co/IzyIoSnpPf
— sanwo olu is a murderer! (@IheatuJ) November 26, 2020
Whats honorable & decent about a man that led the military regime responsible for the death of over 3million Igbos during the civil war?
He signed the Aburi accord in Ghana and never honoured it afterward.
I thought Akin Adesina was different but I can see they’re all the same. https://t.co/1j3Za9taOm
— ÒÓNI OF LAGOS (@Mr_Rotimi) November 26, 2020