Shonekan, Anyim shower encomiums on Jack Gowon

Former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Earnest Shonekan, on Friday described Gen. Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State, as a humble, simple and God fearing leader

Shonekan said this at the 80th birthday lecture organised in honour of the celebrant in Abuja.

Jonathan right with Jack Gowon

He noted that Gowon, also fondly called Jack, was a great leader who believes in leadership by example.

He said the former head of state was a great believer of the unity of Nigeria in spite of the country’s diversity.

He said that his belief in one Nigeria led to the establishment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) during his tenure.

“His mark and positive contribution to the development of the country will continue to speak for him.

“One lesson I want us to take home is that, we should learn to respect our constituted authorities and stop running them down.

“If we continue to run our leaders down, no foreigner will come and develop our country for us,” he said.

In his remark, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said that the history of Nigeria would not be complete without remembering Gowon for his positive contribution to the country.

Sambo, represented by Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that

Gowon’s regime as a Military Head of State,between 1966-1975 witnessed massive infrastructural development.

He said that his programme on reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation was a major initiative that brought Nigeria back to its glory after the civil war.

According to him, apart from the NYSC that was established in his time, his administration is also instrumental to the establishment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Dr George Fraser, the Guest Lecturer, said Gowon was a gift to the nation and humanity considering his contributions to the development and unity of Nigeria.

He said that Gowon was a leader who had through his relentless efforts brought dreams to reality in the country through his leadership style.

The guest speaker said that the sure way to develop the country was to ensure that every Nigerian contribute in their various capacities.

He therefore urged Nigerians to learn from the leadership style of Gowon, adding that peace, unity and development was the dream of the founding fathers of the country.

In his remark, Gowon commended the guest lecturer and urged Nigerians to remain committed to the unity and development of the country.

He said his achievements as a former head of state would not have been possible without the support of Nigerians, particularly his advisers.