Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has said that he and several other prominent Nigerians saved former President Olusegun Obasanjo from being impeached by the National Assembly in 2007.
Gowon revealed this on Saturday at the Major General Emmanuel Abisoye Foundation lecture at the University of Abuja, tagged: ‘Nation Building or Nation Fragmentation: Reflections on 20 Years of Post-Military Rule in Nigeria’.
According to Gowon, who is the chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, others who intervened in the situation include former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar; and former Head of the Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan.
Gowon said that at the time the National Assembly, led by Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, had concluded plans to remove Obasanjo.
The former military ruler commended Mr Na’Abba, who was a guest at the occasion, saying the intervention was based on the need to save Obasanjo’s successors from embarrassments by the legislature.
“I can assure you that we had some very important discussions and I know that we had to appeal to him and the President of the Senate not to impeach Obasanjo.
“Of course, because of the respect they had for us, they listened to us. This is because if we had allowed them to impeach the president at that time of our democracy, no president in Nigeria would escape being harassed.
“So, I thank you very much for listening to us. Like me, the late Emmanuel Abisoye chose to join the Nigerian military in preference to other careers, which he was eminently qualified for.
“His achievements in his military career showed that he took the right decision to serve his country,” Gowon said.