General Yakubu Gowon, the only military leader who became head of state as a bachelor, was the chairman of Ishaya Bamaiyi’sbook launch.
The book gives details of Bamaiyi and what transpired while he served under the late military dictator, Sani Abacha.
The Nigerian military made a very big mistake going into politics and this has killed its discipline and professionalism. General Yakubu Gowon, former head of state, has said.
General Yakubu Gowon ruled Nigeria at a period the country passed through civil war Gowon said the military’s incursion into politics was actually a misguided adventure and that it led to loss of the professionalism, discipline and patriotism of the armed forces.
VON reports that Gowon was the head of state when the civil war was fought for three years between 1967 and 1970.
Gowon, who was the chairman of the occasion, said although the book was essentially on personal experiences of Ishaya Bamaiyi, leaders and policy makers would learn a lot from it.
“While readers may only wish to focus on how Gen Ishaya Bamaiyi himself fell victim of power play and intrigues, he draws our attention to the compelling larger picture.
“He showed that the greatest casualty after all was the Nigerian military which lost its reputation of professionalism, discipline and patriotism as a result of misguided adventure into politics,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gowon spoke on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at the launch of a book, Vindication of a General, by a former Chief of Army Staff, Ishaya Bamaiya.
The book, a memoir of Bamaiyi’s experiences as head of the army under the Abacha military regime, and his incarceration, was launched at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre in Abuja, according to the report.
Speaking at the event, Bamaiyi said he decided to write the book for posterity and for people to be rightly informed about his unfair treatment and his eventual vindication.
“As Chief of Army Staff, I experienced the most turbulent tenure and challenges in history of Nigeria Army.
“The most challenging of them is my unfair incarceration for eight years, but I overcame all these and came out in one piece.
“I take responsibility for whatever is written in the book;
I can defend it because it is the truth.
“I therefore urge whoever that wants to criticise the book to be objective and honest in doing that,” he said.
The report said the 16-chapter book, with 252 pages, was reviewed by Sam Egwu, a professor of political science at University of Jos.
Bamaiyi served under the military administration of late Sani Abacha and was on December 10, 1999 charged with the attempted murder of Guardian Newspaper publisher, Alex Ibru and charged alongside former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Abacha, Hamza al-Mustapha, and others by the Lagos state government.
He was later discharged and acquitted on April 2, 2008 after eight years in detention.