President Muhammadu Buhari has showered encomiums on former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on his 85th birthday, October 19, saying he is living legend and symbol of national unity.
President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday, affirmed that Gowon’s visionary leadership style, wisdom and disciplined outlook kept the country as one.
The president extolled the former Head of State, who he described as Nigeria’s youngest leader since Independence, for faith and steadfastness in God in times of adversity, and courageously pursuing the interest of majority Nigerians for a unified and stronger country.
According to him, the elder statesman laid a solid foundation for the country to thrive, with the creation of federating units, and implementation of futuristic policies like the National Youths Service Corps.
He noted that the scheme had consistency served the purpose of fostering unity, harmony and expanding the horizons of young Nigerians for life-time opportunities.
President Buhari commended Gowon’s simplicity and humility, leaving the highest position in the country to return to school for further studies, and returning to provide wise counsels to leaders.
He also lauded him for “encouraging good governance and setting up an organization, Nigeria Prays, that consistently upholds the nation in prayers’’.
The President noted that the former Head of State had stayed relevant in Nigeria and beyond, “and enjoys wide respect from far and near.’’
He congratulated all family members, friends and close associates of the exemplary leader on the auspicious occasion of his 85th birthday, praying that the almighty God would always remember his sacrifices for the nation.
President Buhari prayed God to grant the elder stateman longer life, good health and strength to keep working for the good of country and humanity.