Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), revealed on Tuesday that when a decision was being made to move the nation’s capital from Lagos, he could’ve relocated it to Jos, Plateau State but he did not, despite having powers to do so.
Gowon, who said he was the initiator of the idea that gave birth to the present Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as the nation’s capital, said he did not relocate the capital to Jos, because he was afraid of been accused of ‘parochialism’ and showing favoritism, given the fact that the town was close to his place of origin.
The former head of state made the revelation in Abuja at the 26th anniversary exhibition and commemoration of the movement of the seat of government from Lagos to Abuja, organised by the Federal Capital Territory Archives and History Bureau.
According to Gowon, the first place he found that looked strategic and beautiful for the Capital of Nigeria was Jos in Plateau state.
Read the statement below…
“One of the places I saw that attracted me was somewhere in Plateau, those of you who know the place especially close to Jos forest, will agree that the area is beautiful and I thought that place was beautiful for the capital city.
“But I did not make that choice because I would have been accused of parochialism, and favoritism, because it was very close to my original place where I come from. So I said no , I must look at other place the search for a new capital took me round the northwest, and in my state visits, I continued to look for other places, when I came to Abuja, I was attracted”