In 1975: Yakubu Gowon (PAIS Alumni) was overthrown in a military coup, escape to the UK, and was offered a place at Warwick. There is a folklore in Nigeria that says that the British Authority and Warwick stood solidly behind General Yakubu Gowon and ensure he remained safe at Warwick University.
In 2018, current Vice President of Nigeria delivering his keynote address during Warwick Africa Summit and stated “if I was ever to lead a revolution and it failed, like Gowon I would head for Warwick University; a place of freedom and refuge; I will remain here until the dust settles.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo Delivers 'Africa Century' Lecture at Warwick Africa Summit (Full Speech): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPxZDzRwekY . This video is on the official YouTube account of the Vice President of Nigeria and has 30124 views.
1977: Freedom fighter Bience Philomena Gawanas (Warwick Law Alumna) left Namibia and went into exile. During that time, she lived and taught in SWAPO refugee camps (South West African People's Organisation) in Zambia and Angola. Between 1979 and 1981, She lived in Cuba and taught Namibian exiled children in schools there. Subsequently, She had the chance to study at the University of Warwick and obtained my LLB honours.
Bience Gawanas is the Under-Secretary-General, Special Advisor on Africa to the United Nations Ms. Gawanas has served as Special Adviser to Namibia’s Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare. Prior to this, she was Special Adviser to the Minister of Health and Social Services. A champion of women’s health and rights in Africa, she has been commended for her role in initiating far‑reaching campaigns, such as the continental Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA).
Warwick Law and Alumni office did a profile on Bience Gawanas and you can read more here: https://warwick.ac.uk/alumni/warwickwomen/biencegawanas/
General Yakubu Gowon, Head of the Federal Military Government of Nigeria.
General Gowon (second from right).
05 October 1973
United Nations, New York
UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata