Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on the occasion of his 86th birthday, describing him as a symbol of national unity.
Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Monday, in Asaba, said that Gowon emerged as head of state at a very precarious period in Nigeria’s history and navigated the country to unity and stability.
He said that Gowon’s template of Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction after the turmoil of 1967 to 1970 had remained the cornerstone for stability in the country.
The governor lauded Gowon for his profound and genuine nation-building efforts, recalling that it was part of the process of fostering enduring unity in the country that he created the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He also commended the elderstateman for his courageous, humble and simple life style and his recourse to spiritual uplift of the country through his national prayer platform, “Nigeria Prays”.
Okowa felicitated Gowon’s family members, friends and associates, and prayed God to grant the General longer life and strength for sustained service to the nation.
He said: “On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I warmly felicitate with former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on his 86th birth anniversary on October 19, 2020.
“You fought to keep the nation together not minding your age at the time, a mark that had made you the country’s youngest leader in history.
“Your visionary leadership style and wise counseling have helped to keep the country as one and I must commend you for your steadfastness in prayers to God for the unity and progress of Nigeria.
“It has been acknowledged widely that you laid a good and solid foundation for the unity of the country, especially with the creation of NYSC that has consistently served the purpose of fostering unity and harmony among Nigerians.
“Worthy of commendation is your simplicity and undiluted commitment to the Nigeria project, through patriotic contributions, which have stood out.
“It is my prayer that God continues to bless you with good health, longer life and strength as you remain on your patriotic and disciplined path in the drive for a better Nigeria.”