President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has felicitated with a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), on the occasion of his 85th birthday.
Lawan, in a statement by his spokesperson, Ola Awoniyi, in Abuja on Sunday, described Gowon as a firm believer in the country’s unity and a unique national hero.
The Senate President thanked God for the grace of health, longevity and unblemished integrity evident in his exemplary life.
He recalled that Gowon assumed the leadership of Nigeria as a youth at a time the country was on the verge of disintegration.
“In very difficult circumstances, Gen. Gowon rallied his troops and indeed all Nigerians to defend and preserve the unity and territorial integrity of the country.
“He did this through his inspirational call of ‘Go On With one Nigeria’ during the unfortunate civil war,’’ he said.
According to the Senate President, the former Head of state through his policy of “No Victor, No Vanquished and the “three Rs” programme of Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation’’ consolidated the nation’s unity.
“It is to his eternal credit that Nigerians from across the deep divide embraced themselves after the conflict and again integrated as one nation specially blessed by God.
“Even after exiting power, Gen. Gowon has been unwavering in promoting the unity, peace and prosperity of the country he loves so much,” he said.
The Senate President added that Nigerians would always appreciate Gowon’s legacy of patriotic and compassionate leadership and the prayer programme he institutionalised for the well-being of the nation.
He wished the former Head of State many more years in good health and honour.