By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Former Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has felicitated former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on his 89th birthday.
Tallen in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, described Gowon as Africa’s living legend, as well as the father and symbol of Nigeria’s unity.
She also extolled Gowon’s attributes as an “elder statesman, passionate patriot, epitome of humility and honesty, a prayer warrior and rare gem, whose life is worthy of emulating by contemporary and future Nigerian leaders.”
The former deputy governor of Plateau said that the state was proud of Gowon for doing the state and the nation proud, both as a patriotic military officer, who rose to the pinnacle of his career and an exemplary, visionary national leader.
She lauded Gowon’s relentless commitment to national service long after leaving office, his mobilisation of citizens toward prayer through his national prayer movement, as well as his continuous counselling to successive Nigeria’s and African leaders.
“As a young man aged 32, God bestowed on you the leadership of this great country and you did not disappoint, as you successfully fought for the unity of Nigeria in its most critical civil war epoch, culminating in national reconciliation, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
“You also built everlasting legacies like the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, to foster national cohesion and unity among Nigeria’s diverse ethnic nationalities to reinforce her status as the Giant of Africa and Pride of the Black race.
“Sir, on this auspicious occasion of your 89th birthday, I join your immediate family and millions of well-wishers across the globe, to celebrate with you, to thank God for His exceeding grace upon you, and wish you the best that life can offer you in the many years ahead,” Tallen said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)