The Nigerian head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, mourned at his father's funeral in the Northern Nigerian town of Wusasa on the 2nd of February.
SV General Gown & wife shake hands with diplomats (2 shots)
GV Mourners arrive
GV Gowon & wife in procession
SV & GV Coffin being carried to grave
SV Women in procession
GV Coffin being carried
SV Onlookers at graveside
SV Coffin with bearers
SV Priest reading service
SV Gowon & wife with heads lowered
SV Coffin being lowered into grave
Initials ESP/1738 ESP/1803
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Background: The Nigerian head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, mourned at his father's funeral in the Northern Nigerian town of Wusasa on the 2nd of February. The general's father, Pa Yohanna Gowon, died on January the 26th at the age of 90.
Among the several thousand mourners at the service were the President of the neighbouring state of Niger, Mr Diori Hamani, and his wife, and members of a Guinean delegation which included Madame Toure, wife of President Sekou Toure, and the Guinean Prime Minister, Mr Lansasa Beavogui.
The 90-minute service at St Bartholomew's Church, believed to be the oldest mission church in Northern Nigeria, ended with the firing of three gun-salutes over the grave by Nigerian Army riflemen.
Pa Gown, who was converted to Christianity in middle-age, was revered in Nigeria for his extensive missionary work with an evangelist society. He had been married for nearly 50 years when he died.
SYNOPSIS: Several thousand people flocked to Wusasa, Northern Nigeria, recently for the funeral of the father of the country's head of state, General Gowon. The general and his wife received the many high-ranking mourners.
The Nigerian leader's father, Pa Yohanna Gowon, died on January the twenty-sixth at the age of ninety. The service was held at Saint Bartholomew's, believed to be the oldest mission church in the region.
Pa Yohanna Gowon was converted to Christianity in middle-ago and gained a widespread reputation in Nigeria for his missionary work with an evangelist church. He had been married for nearly fifty years when he died at his home at Wusasa. He had nine children and a number of grandchildren.
Among foreign diplomats and politicians at the funeral were the President of the neighbouring state of Niger, Mr Diori Hamani, and the Prime Minister of Guinea, Mr Lansasa Beavogui.
Many foreign heads of state sent condolences to General Gowon on his father's death. They included President Nixon and President Tolbert of Liberia.
The funeral ended with three volleys fired over the grave by Nigerian Army riflemen.