President Bola Tinubu, on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, has sent warm greetings to former Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on his 89th birthday.
A statement by Presidential Spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said the president celebrates the elder statesman whose visionary leadership has shaped major milestones in Nigeria’s history.
The president extolled Gowon for institutionalising the peace process in Nigeria with lasting legacies, such as laying the foundation for Nigeria’s federation through the creation of states.
Other milestones of the former head of state include fostering cohesion, encouraging inter-ethnic warmth and understanding by establishing the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the president said.
Tinubu said Gowon also sustained the pillars of harmony between Nigerians with the National Prayer Movement that continues to inspire neighbourliness and patriotism.
“His love and passion for Nigeria, as well as his determination to see into manifestation the unique gifts and combined strengths of all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, tribe or any other difference, remains a pace-setting attribute of leadership.
“This is what) all present and future Nigerian leaders must emulate,” the President said.
Tinubu said that the courage, passion and wisdom that Gowon consistently exuded from his youth, being Nigeria’s youngest leader at 32, had kept him steadfast and relevant at the age of 89.
He commended Gowon’s counsel to leaders, within and outside the country, saying this has continued to make him enjoy every measure of God’s amazing grace in enduring strength and health.
The president joined the wife of the former Head of State, his family members, and many friends in the celebration.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has also felicitated with a former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on his 89th birthday, describing him as an “inspiring and humble leader”.
Jonathan congratulated the former head of state in a statement he personally signed and issued to journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to the former president, Gowon has contributed immensely to the unity, peace and development of Nigeria.
He also commended Gowon for his commitment to the cause of advancing the nation and mobilising citizens towards national reconciliation.
“You have been an inspirational leader and patriotic statesman who has contributed immensely to the unity, peace and development of Nigeria.
“As a leader, you have continued to offer yourself for national service long after leaving office; mobilizing citizens towards prayer and national reconciliation.
“As you celebrate, I wish you more fulfilling years in sound health, peace and joy,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan prayed God to grant him wisdom, long life and the grace of service.