Former Nigerian Head of State General Yakubu Gowon was attending an Organisation of African Unity (OAU) summit in Kampala, Uganda, when he was told he had been overthrown in a coup back home by a group of army officers on July 29, 1975.
Listening to a speech at a session, his demeanor after the news was broken to him by one of his aides was a rather calm one. As he abruptly left the conference room afterwards, he was swarmed by a group of curious reporters who wanted to know his next line of action.
“Any comment from you, sir? We heard that there has been a – you’ve been overthrown,” asked one of the reporters.
Another also interjected and asked if he had heard of it to which General Gowon replied and said: “I’ve got no comments to make at this stage.”
In another scene from the summit, General Gowon could be seen having a conversation with then president of Uganda, Idi Amin. Still chased by curious reporters as he walked back to his seat, he assured them there was nothing to worry about.
Acting as Head of State of Nigeria from 1966 till his overthrow, Gowon, who also came to power via a coup and played a key role in preventing the Biafran secession fled into exile in the United Kingdom afterwards.
The coup plotters replaced him with Brigadier Murtala Muhammad as the head of the new government. Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo was also appointed as his deputy.