~Vanguard Nigeria. Wednesday, December 13, 2017.
He also said as the Commander-in-Chief, he had powers to make Jos, and not Abuja, the capital of Nigeria but refused to do so.because he was not prepared to be clouded by sentiments and selfishness.
He said he took these decisions because of his conviction that personal interest should not override national interest.
Gowon, who spoke at the 26th anniversary exhibition and commemoration of the movement of the seat of government from Lagos to Abuja, organized by the Federal Capital Territory Archives and History Bureau in Abuja yesterday, said he did not make Jos the capital because he was also afraid of being accused of parochialism, given the fact that Jos was close to his place of birth.
According to him, the idea of moving from Lagos to Abuja was conceived by his government in 1974, and that those who were passionate about the ideas, such as the late General Murtala Mohammed, continued with the project after he left government.
He noted that the first place he found that looked strategic and beautiful for the capital of Nigeria was Jos in Plateau State, adding, however, that he could not sustain his thought on it because he didn't want to be accused of parochial and favouritism.
He said: "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.