As goodwill messages pour in for former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), who clocks 87 today, the Chairman of Executive Group and Board Member, Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Ayo Ogunsan, has hailed the octogenarian, describing him as a true nationalist par excellence.
Heaping encomium on Gowon on his 87th birthday, Ogunsan also describes him as an intercessor who exhibits godly attributes in all fronts.
In a recent congratulatory message signed by Ogunsan and made available to newsmen, Ogunsan said: “Today, I salute a colossus, a generalissimo and a true nationalist, General Yakubu Gowon, who clocks 87 in grand style.
“As Nigeria’s youngest Head of State at the age of 31, sir, your good works when you held sway between 1966 to 1975 can never be forgotten in a hurry. One of such is the creation of 12 new states to replace the four regions in the country.
“A devoted Christian not just in words but in deed, his nationalistic and spiritual impact cannot be over-emphasized. I daresay that here is a nationalist cum democrat par excellence who is also a staunch believer in the unity and oneness of Nigeria.
“Sir, your disposition on national unity has been unequivocal and unambiguous, as you have continued to foster ethic cohesion and regional integration.
“The unparalleled general is a role model, a father and a spiritual mentor to me. He remains a dynamic and upright personality who, despite his monumental achievements in both private and public endeavours, has remained humble to a fault.
“In all honesty, mere words are ineffable to rhapsodise the depth of his being. It is safer to admit that no amount of rhetorics can convey the personality of a man who is a father, spiritual leader and mentor to me. I am so glad our paths crossed in life. It has been a relationship I will forever live to cherish. Baba is is an encourager, intercessor and God’s advocate on earth. Just say he is a rare breed.
“As an intercessor and the convener of an interdenominational prayer network, the Nigeria Prays Organisation, founded since 1996, baba’s contribution to both physical and spiritual growth of the nation is, by far, applaudable. He seems to subscribe to the scripture which says: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” — 2 Chronicles 7:14
“For you, prayer is that formidable weapon with which fiery darts can be overcome. I salute you for teaching us the tenets of godliness and holy living.
“Permit me to wish you a blessed birthday laced with all the goodies of life, while praying God to grant you many more rewarding years to come.”
Born on October 19, 1934, Yakubu Gowon, is a retired Nigerian Army general. He is the longest serving head of state in the history of the country.