• Short Summary

    Nigeria's head of state, Major-General Yakubu Gowon, broadcast to the nation tonight (October 1) on the anniversary of ten years of independence.

  • Description

    CU General Gowon broadcast:

    TRANSCRIPT: GOWON: "My dear countrymen and women, today we celebrate the tenth anniversary of our resumption of sovereignty and independence. We celebrate this solemn occasion in unity and peace, for this we offer a special prayer of gratitude to God. The memory of our recent agony is fresh. During the ten years of our nationhood our country has been assailed by many crisis, culminating in the 13 month civil war which ended in January this year. I shall first speak about the national development plan. The five national objectives on which the plan is based are to make Nigeria: one, a united, strong and self-reliant nation; two, a great and dynamic economy; three, a just and egalitarian society; four, a land of true and equal opportunities for all its citizens; and five, a free and democratic society. There is no doubt in my mind that the experiences we have been through in the past few years will confirm us all in the wisdom of maintaining a federal constitution.

    In African and world affairs, Nigeria cannot be isolationist, even if it so desired. The African states, rightly so, in the unity of Nigeria, see an essential condition for African unity, moreover, people of African descent throughout the world see in a strong Nigeria a banner of hope and an instrument for achieving self-respect for the black man--so long degraded everywhere.

    Outside the African continent we shall walk more energetically with all developing countries to sustain the independence of small countries and to remove obstacles to more rapid development placed before us by the economic domination and the trading practices of the richer countries."

    Initials PAF/MR/BB/2349

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Nigeria's head of state, Major-General Yakubu Gowon, broadcast to the nation tonight (October 1) on the anniversary of ten years of independence. In a keynote speech, General Gowon gave the nation five objectives to be realised through a national development plan. The objectives would make a united Nigeria, self-reliant, strong and a democratic society which would be egalitarian with true and equal opportunity for all.

    The Nigeria head of state also referred to the country's role in African and World affairs. He linked the country with all the other developing countries and indicated that they must break the economic domination of the stronger nations.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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