Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd), said the relocation of the Federal Capital Territory from Lagos to Abuja was based on the territorial integrity of the country.
Gowon said this at the commemoration of the movement of seat of government of the federation from Lagos to Abuja on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the decision to relocate to Abuja was largely based on security of the country’s territorial integrity.
Gowon recalled that the idea of Abuja started during his time, adding that the concept of Abuja was done by him.
He said: “I have gone round to see other capitals of the world and we needed somewhere central to take away the crowd of Lagos and that was when we conceived the idea, but there was a change of government.”
He lauded the continuity of the idea which was conceived in 1974 but realised in 1976, adding that Lagos State would remain the economy strength of the country.
Also speaking, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, said the commemoration was an opportunity to reflect on the 26 years of the country’s final relocation.
He urged the citizenry to work together to safeguard their collective heritage by joining hands to protect all public utilities and infrastructure procured at great cost.