By Fabian Ekeruche
Lagos – All Progressives Congress Chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has congratulated former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, as he turns 85 on Saturday.
Tinubu, in a statement on Friday night, made available by his Media Office in Lagos, described Gowon as a statesman who contributed immensely to nation-building.
Gowon served as military Head of State of Nigeria from 1966-1975.
Tinubu said: “I congratulate former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, as he clocks 85 on October 19, 2019.
” He is a statesman and national icon who contributed enormously to Nigeria’s unity and development.
“Nigeria owes General Gowon a debt of gratitude for his efforts at resolving ethnic tensions that threatened to fatally divide the country and for his continued and untiring efforts at building one Nigeria.
“It’s on record that after the civil war, General Gowon propounded the ‘No Victor, No Vanquished’ policy aimed at bringing about national reconciliation, which thrives on his personal influence. ”
Tinubu said that Gowon had not looked back since then, and not relented in his efforts geared towards forging national integration, even at advanced age.
“General Gowon has continued with the task of engendering peace and unity in the land with the ‘Nigeria Prays’ project.
“The General also laid the foundation for the decentralisation of the country with the creation of additional states and the division of Nigeria into 12 states.
“General Gowon was also one of the leaders who worked assiduously towards the formation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to drive integration in the sub-region.
“I pray that God grant him many more years, good health and vitality to continue to contribute to nation-building and development, and be a shining example to the younger generation that he has always been,” he said.(NAN)