From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Northern Governors’ Forum has rejoiced with elder statesman and former Head of State Gen Yakubu Gowon (retd) on his 88th birthday.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Plateau State Simon Bako Lalong, in a statement, described Gen Gowon as one of the most refined and patriotic leaders that Nigeria has produced.
Governor Lalong said Gen Gowon apart from fighting to keep Nigeria one, has remained a father to the nation many years after leaving office and continues to support successive administrations through prayer, counsel and strategic engagement towards addressing the nation’s challenges.
He said as an elder statesman, Gen Gowon has devoted his time, energy and resources to mobilising help for the less privileged in society just as he has mobilised funds and attracted the attention of local and global partners to tackling diseases, illiteracy, poverty and hunger among others.
Governor Lalong noted that through the Yakubu Gowon Foundation, the former military leader has touched the lives of the most vulnerable persons in society by bringing succour to their plight and ensuring that the attention of Government, donor agencies and NGOs is drawn to neglected but important issues.
The governor specifically appreciated the role that Gen. Gowon has played in his interventions with members of the Forum towards addressing the issues of insecurity, peace, unity and religious harmony within the Northern Region and the entire country.
He said that Gowon epitomises humility, humanity, and goodwill as he has remained apolitical, but always interested in supporting causes that work for the interest of the people.
The former head of state was also commended for instituting and sustaining a national spiritual intercession program “Nigeria Prays” which has relentlessly prayed for the unity, progress and stability of Nigeria over the years.
While wishing him many more years of good health, wisdom and God’s protection, Lalong said the former Head of State will continue to remain a worthy Ambassador for the region and Nigeria with his sterling qualities that attract goodwill from within and outside Nigeria.