President Muhammadu Bukhari described the former military chief of state, General Yakubu Govon, as “a brave patriot whose commitment to national unity is unmatched in the annals of our controversial history.”
In a statement released Sunday in Abuja to mark his 86th birthday, President Bukhari noted that “the role played by General Yakubu Gowon in our political history and infrastructure development is carved out of stone and cannot be rewritten.”
Bukhari said that “as young officers, many of us regarded General Gowon as a role model for his patriotism, commitment to unity and humility.”
According to the president, “the civil war in Nigeria demonstrated the most striking qualities of General Gowon as a visionary leader who put Nigeria’s interests above his own.”
He noted that “the former head of state at the end of the civil war led a very impressive effort of national reconciliation to heal the bitter emotional and psychological wounds of the fratricidal conflict.”
President Bukhari added that “General Gowon is one of the most beautiful leaders I have ever known and who has inspired so many future leaders.”
“Even in the context of Africa, many leaders across the continent draw inspiration from his skillful handling of the outcome of the civil war through his ‘No to the winner, no to the vanquished,’ policy,” he said.
“When he turns 86, Nigerians cannot forget General Gowon’s immeasurable contribution to the unity and development of Nigeria. May God continue to bless him with good health and strength necessary to understand his unchanging spiritual obligations and service to humanity, ”the president prayed.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media and advertising)
18 October 2020