Maj. Gen. Yusuf Gowon, a retired military officer who served as chief of staff for the Uganda Army during the regime of former President Idi Amin is dead.
Gowon died at Arua Regional Referral Hospital this afternoon at around 12:00pm due to an unknown illness According to a close family source.
Atiku Abdallah, the LC 2 chairperson of Pangisa, Central division in Arua city told URN that Gowon had been battling an unknown illness for long. He praised Gowon as humane and a dedicated Muslim faithful who valued development of the community.
Meanwhile, Summary Ejaga, the LC 2 chairperson of Kenya ward, Central division in Arua city described the death of Gowon a big loss to the people of West Nile region and the country at large. According to Ejaga, Gowon has been a living dictionary for the younger generation especially on the political developments in the county.
Born in 1936 in Lodonga village, the present day Yumbe district in West Nile region, Gowon first served in the prisons service until 1968 when he was enlisted in the military. When Amin’s regime began collapsing in Gowon fled Uganda and settled in Zaire (Now DR Congo) where he worked as a businessman.
He later returned in 1994, When the then new government under the leadership of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni offered him a return to his home country. In July 1998, Gowon and other ex-servicemen formed an association, Alternatives for Non-Violence Project, to help former soldiers reintegrate into society.
In 2001, Gowon was arrested and tried for the suspected involvement in the murder of Eliphaz Laki, a county chief of Rwampara, from his home in Ibanda during Amin’s rule. Gowon denied any involvement in Laki’s murder, and was acquitted due to lack of evidence in 2003.
According to the tentative burial programme, Gowon is expected to be laid to rest today at his residence in Abia cell,Pangisha Ward, Arua Central Division.