There is outrage from Nigerians on Twitter after Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the Africa Development Bank, came to the defence of former military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, on looting allegations levelled against him.
Before now, British Member of Parliament, Tom Tugendhat, while proposing sanctions on Nigerian Government officials guilty of violating the rights of #ENDSARS protesters, said Gowon looted half of Nigeria’s treasury when he was ousted from office in a coup and fled for the UK.
Nonetheless, the information from the parliament generated interest in many Nigerians, who felt that that information was deliberately omitted from Nigeria’s history textbooks.
Adesina, in Gowon’s defence, said he was a man of integrity and impeccable character.
“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.”Akinwumi A. Adesina (@akin_adesina)
His tweet did not go down well with Nigerians, who described him as hypocritical for defending the former military leader while choosing to stay silent on the killing of peaceful protesters in the Lekki massacre.
“For someone who didn’t say anything about #LekkiMassacre, why would I take you seriously? This Gowon killed over 3 million people and you use those words for him? Wow… I’m from Delta State and 700 innocent men were slaughtered in one day in Asaba. This is wickedness.”#EndBAdGovernmentinNIGERIA (@DoctorEmto)
Another user, Jackson Ude urged Adesina to allow Gowon speak for himself or sue if he has been defamed.
“Please allow Gowon to defend himself. He is alive and can simply take a flight to England and sue the MP. Face your job in ADB and don’t get yoked in controversial matter that can taint you. Thanks!”Jackson Ude
Obademi Michael expressed his disappointment in Adesina, seething,
“Youths were murdered, you said nothing. Thank you for revealing what you stand for. Definitely not a true Nigeria. As to many that thought you were a good example. Now we know what you truly stand for.”Obademi Michael (@obas_mike)
Personally, Akinwunmi is a man I have studied, a man I admire and respect. Definitely, those words could not have been mere flattery, or without source. On the other hand, the frustration of Nigerians over the state of things has to also be considered.
What do you think? Is Adesina right in defending the honour of the former head of state, on international grounds? Or should we applaud Nigerians for never failing to speak their minds?
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