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False! Former Military Head of State Yakubu Gowon, not dead

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Claim: Several blogs posted news about the death of the Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon. 

False! Former Military Head of State Yakubu Gowon, not dead

Verdict: False! The person reported dead is former Chairman Commitee of VCs, Gowon Edoumiekumor. No credible media outlets reported the death of the General. 

Full Text 

Yakubu Gowon was born on Oct. 19, 1934, in Pankshin, Nigeria. He was a Nigerian military leader who served as Head of State from 1966-1975. Mr Gowon believes in the unity and oneness of Nigeria. 

Different social media sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs posted on Oct. 9, 2023, that the former general is dead. Most sites posted his picture and captioned it “Former Military Head of States General Yakubu Gowon is dead at the age of 89.”

The post on social media platforms has gathered so much visibility, making people sympathize with his family and loved ones. Paul Adelaja on Facebook said: “May his soul rest in peace, he was a great asset to Nigeria.”

DUBAWA decided to investigate the claim because of the personality involved and the virality of the news. 


We did an advanced keyword search on the word to see if other credible media outlets posted it but found none. Rather, we saw the news on Tribune online about the death of the former Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors Gowon Edoumiekumor on 7 Oct. 2023 at 53. 

The speculation on social media started because of the sameness of their first name, “Gowon,” making people believe it was the former General.

Also, Adeyeye Ajayi, a personal aide to Mr Gowon, debunked the rumour of the General’s death in a statement

Mr Ajayi wrote that: “Gowon is still around and well. General Gowon is not in a hurry to go anywhere.”

The former Minister of State for Education, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Orusi Kenneth, said that the Former Head of State is hearty and presently in London. 

Different pictures of Mr Gowon have also surfaced online of him watching his grandson play football in London. 


Mr Gowon is not dead. The deceased person is the former Chairman of Vice Chancellor Gowon Edoumiekumor. Mr Gowon’s aide has released a statement to debunk the rumour. 

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