Gowon Seeks Support For Security Agencies To Tackle Challenges

A file photo of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd).

 

 

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has called for the support of all Nigerians for the security agencies to tackle contemporary and emerging challenges facing the nation.

He made the call on Saturday during a courtesy call on the acting Governor of Kaduna State, Hadiza Balarabe, at Government House in the state capital.

The elder statesman believes the task of ensuring peace, security, and development of the society should not be left for security agencies alone.

He noted that individuals and communities have a role to play by availing security agencies with intelligence information about criminals within their domain.

READ ALSOMilitary Action Alone Won’t Tackle Insurgency, UN Tells Nigerian Govt

General Gowon also reiterated that the peace and unity of the country were non-negotiable and urged the citizenry to support the government.

On her part, Mrs Balarabe aligned herself with the position of the elder statesman and thanked him for the visit.

She described General Gowon as a patriotic Nigerian, a role model, and source of inspiration to all Nigerians, especially for his passion in mobilising for prayers for the nation’s unity, security, and progress.

Jonathan, Atiku Congratulate Gowon On 85th Birthday

Goodluck Jonathan                           Atiku Abubakar                              Yakubu Gowon

 

 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), on his 85th birthday.

In his goodwill message to the elder statesman on Saturday, Dr Jonathan described General Gowon as a brave leader who served his country with honour, pride and love.

According to him, the passion and patriotism of the octogenarian have continued to grow as he contributes to the nation’s growth and development.

READ ALSO: Gowon Remains A Symbol Of National Unity – Gbajabiamila

The former President wished the former Head of State more strength and peaceful years.

Similarly, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, felicitated with General Gowon.

He also prayed that God grants the elder statesman more years to continue to serve his country.

Read the statement by former President Jonathan below:

I rejoice with you and all well-wishers as you mark your 85th birthday.

You are a courageous leader who served Nigeria with honour, pride, and love, especially at a difficult time in the life of our nation.

Long after you left office, your passion and patriotism have remained undiminished, as you have continued to work and fervently pray for our country’s growth and development.

As a statesman, you have remained resolutely committed to the peace and unity of Nigeria.

On behalf of my family, I wish you more strength and peaceful years as you celebrate.

Happy Birthday Your Excellency.

GEJ

Also, read the tweet by former Vice President Atiku below:

Gowon Remains A Symbol Of National Unity – Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has described a former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, as a symbol of national unity.

In a message to mark the 85th birthday of the former Head of State, Gbajabiamila eulogised Gowon’s love for Nigeria and his belief in the oneness of the country.

One of the significant things which he credited to Gowon’s love for the country was his establishment of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1973.

The Speaker, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said “On this day, I join millions of Nigerians, and friends of Nigeria, to celebrate this icon and symbol of national unity as he marks 85 years on earth.

“In the years since he retired from active service, Gen Gowon has worked across the country to see to the establishment of peace and abiding prosperity and it is this work that will long be remembered as his greatest legacy.

“Nigerians will not forget in a hurry that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), which worked to bring Nigerians together at a critical time in our history is the brainchild of this great Nigerian. Indeed, the history of our country will not be complete without a mention of Gowon.

“On this occasion of his 85th birthday, I join fellow Nigerians in offering special prayers to Allah to grant General Gowon continuous good health, protection and guidance”.

Nigeria’s Education System Is Plagued With Challenges, Says Gowon

 

Nigeria’s former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon has said that despite the number of graduates making Nigeria proud globally, the country’s education system is still plagued by inadequate infrastructure and human resources.

Mr Gowon made this known on Friday, during the 35th Convocation lecture of Bayero University, Kano.

He expressed concerns over the rising numbers of Nigerian Universities and the fact that they might not be able to get funds.

“Even as our universities continue to produce graduates that have done Nigeria proud at the world stage, the country’s education system is still plagued by inadequate infrastructure and human resources to meet global best practices.

“Nigeria now boasts of more than 100 universities, and I understand there are many more still awaiting licensing or are ready to commence operation.

“It is growing too fast and I think too many don’t know honestly, whether we can be able to really fund all these universities adequately,” he said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders CBN To Blacklist Firms Smuggling 43 Restricted Items

He also stated that the problems facing the education sector is more of a socio-economic challenge and the universities can address the issues.

“At home, socio-economic problems continue to grow geometrically whilst actual development only make arithmetic progression, but is the university system alone to blame for this, I think not.

“Issues of corruption and insecurity, for example, are largely of character, not learning, they are issues that the university can confront alone, the society must be mobilised as one to get things right.”

He explained that solutions focused on the re-orientation of values should be at the front burner of discussions.

“We have a good idea of what is wrong, when, where and how it went wrong.

“Whatever solution is proffered will take cognisance of the need to return to the core ideals of re-orientation of values.”

Gowon Urges Elders In Nigeria To Speak Up On State Of The Nation

 

Former Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon, says Nigerians at all levels of society must participate in the 2019 general elections process, just as he called on elders in the country not to be silent regarding the state of the country, with a focus on post-election stability in the country.

According to the elder statesman, it is the role of all citizens to affirm our highest values with honourable and peaceful conduct while rejecting the worst vices being promoted by a tiny group of corrupt Nigerians who seek power at various levels. The former head of state said this at a briefing in Abuja, tagged, ‘The Burden of the Elders at the Dawn of 2019 General Elections’.

He said Nigeria’s journey to true nationhood since independence in 1960 has been slow, but incremental. He gave reasons for the state of affairs.

“The central reason for our unsteady journey is fairly obvious as no nation can take a giant leap on the scale of human progress without true stewardship represented by a leadership that is visionary, honest, open, and patriotic.”

While admitting that the decline in moral standards in the country may have started long before now, he pointed out that “this overwhelming plunge into extreme greed and corruption of recent years has been a heartbreaking experience to us,” a trend he said posed a clear and present danger to the wellbeing of today’s children and generations yet unborn.

Gen. Gowon condemned a situation in which, according to him, elders sit by and watch the degeneration in societal values, stressing that “the violent turn of expressions, deepened economic hardships and increasing desperation of the national polity has to be reversed to keep hope alive.”

He added, “As we soak in all the attendant factors including the toxic political culture of the present hour and the predatory tonality of the ongoing election processes magnified by the fact that the country is still reeling from the shock of the postponed elections, it has become imperative that we must speak up as elders.”

While urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and politicians to live up to their responsibilities in the forthcoming elections, he threw a challenge to the elders in the country.

“As we soak in all the attendant factors including the toxic political culture of the present hour and the predatory tonality of the ongoing election processes magnified by the fact that the country is still reeling from the shock of the postponed elections, it has become imperative that we must speak up as elders.”

The former head of state did not stop there but also addressed another issue that constitutes a great to the nation’s development and proffered a solution.

“We recommend that a comprehensive strategy for addressing the cankerworm of corruption should be formulated by taking deliberate and painstaking steps for eliminating the root causes of corruption while developing a more sophisticated and even-handed for the investigation and prosecution of corrupt practices.”

Regarding Saturday’s elections, Gen. Gowon said, “God willing, we are determined to honour the call we started out with as our duty to our fatherland so that the banner we would hand over to future generations should be stainless rather than coloured crimson with the blood of the innocent.”

He appealed to Nigerians to calm down and work towards a sustainable future for the nation.

Osinbajo, Gowon Ask Nigerians To Be Thankful

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon have called on Nigerians to be thankful and prayerful.

Both leaders said this on Sunday at a service to mark the 2018 thanksgiving at the Aso Villa chapel at the presidential villa in Abuja.

Osinbajo said Nigerians need to be thankful as better days lie ahead for the country.

The Vice President added that the country is moving forward and therefore Nigerians to be thankful.

General Gowon in his address said Nigerians need to pray for the country.

He added that God will answer every good request on behalf of the country but will not accept selfish prayers.

He also stressed that he is determined to ensure that peace reigns in the country.

Gowon Seeks More Awareness Campaign Against Hepatitis

Gowon Seeks More Awareness Campaign Against Hepatitis
File photo

 

A former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has called for more awareness campaign against hepatitis.

General Gowon who is a goodwill ambassador for the fight against the disease said this on Sunday during a meeting with government officials in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

He made the demand when he led a delegation of the Federal Ministry of Health, Adamawa State Ministry of Health, and the Yakubu Gowon Centre to flag off the screening and immunisation exercise against hepatitis in the state.

The former military leader was received by the state governor, Mohammed Jibrilla, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Martins Babale, and some members of the State Executive Council at the Government House Conference Centre.

Statistics from the State Ministry of Health has shown that out of the 1500 persons recently screened for the disease, 160 of them were found to be infected – an indication that the prevalence rate in the state is very high.

The data also revealed that 20 million Nigerians are already infected with Hepatitis B, which is about 11% to 15% of the country’s population.

This prompted stakeholders to call for an urgent action to curb the disease, particularly hepatitis B and C as the effect on the country would be enormous if not well tackled.

Joining his voice, General Gowon said: “there is a need, therefore, for government to be able to help to ensure that this disease is fought successfully, especially from childhood.”

He further urged the state government to set up a team in collaboration with the Yakubu Gowon Centre and the local governments, so as to tackle the disease efficiently.

Gowo, who had earlier visited Taraba State for the same purpose, also appealed to all Nigerians of goodwill to help in curing or preventing the disease.

In his response, Mr Babale assured the former military leader that the state government would do everything possible to support the programme.

In their various remarks, the Commissioner of Health in the state, Dr Fatimar Abubakar, and State Coordinator, Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), Hamman Diram, stressed the need to screen pregnant women of the disease.

After the meeting at the Government House, the team proceeded to the Yola Specialists Hospital to monitor the screening and immunisation exercise conducted for some patients at the facility.

Nigeria’s Restructuring Is Not Possible, Says Gowon

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon has described the move to restructure the country as impossible, saying the current composition of Nigeria makes it difficult for any kind of restructuring to take place.

General Gowon, speaking at in Minna, Niger State, said Nigeria is made up of over 500 ethnic groups hence the people must have faith in the indivisibility of the country rather than agitating for its restructuring.

“Nigeria is made up of over 500 ethnic groups, languages and dialects and so many various groups called nationalities and they want restructuring. This restructuring everybody is asking for, we will have about 500 different ideas of restructuring. There is call for restructuring to reduce the number of states to only a few either back to the old region or to the zones.”

READ ALSO: Restructuring: Nigeria Has To Continue Negotiating, Says Ajimobi

The former Head of state who is known for his strong faith in “One Nigeria” said most states will be reluctant to be joined to another state for the restructuring into regions to occur, hence the impossibility of Nigeria’s restructuring.

“Those are some of the ideas that I do not know whether it will be possible for any state today to wish to be merged with another state. Let us see whether our politicians will see guidelines to be able to achieve what they want.

“But I have my problem whether the states will be financially capable to they will be able to run there states properly.”

He recalled his struggle to keep Nigeria as one during the civil war and said it was not out of hatred for any region or ethnic group but one borne out of the need to promote the course of unity in the country.

Gowon Asks Nigerians To Be Patient With Buhari

Yakubu Gowon Asks Nigerians To Be Patient With BuhariThe current situation in the country may be difficult, particularly with regard to the economy, but Nigerians must exercise patience as the Buhari administration explores ways to get Nigeria out of the woods.

This appeal is coming from a former head of state in Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon, who gave the assurance that the President is doing his best to make things better.

The elder statesman who was speaking in Lagos, added that all should continue to be hopeful of a turnaround soon.

Corruption Is Engraved In The Constitution- Babajide Ogunsanwo

Corruption, Constitution, Babajide Ogunsanwo, Constitution Babajide Ogunsanwo Transparency International Corruption
Mr. Ogunsawo says “there are dangerous proportions of corruption in Nigeria.”

The recent raid on judges, has caught the attention of many, among which is Information Analyst, Babatunde Ogunsanwo, who says “corruption is engraved all around us, including the Nigerian constitution”.

He came to this conclusion while analyzing statistics from the Global watch-dog on Corruption, Transparency International, that looks at corruption across several countries.

Mr. Ogunsanwo made the comments on Friday, while speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

He stressed that it is only in one section of the entire Nigerian constitution that one can find the mention of the word ‘ideas’ while a larger portion lays emphasis on corruption.

Analysing corruption in Nigeria, he said Transparency International carried out a survey which showed that “63% of Nigerians say judges are corrupt” meaning “6 out of every 10 judges are corrupt”.

According to him, the survey says 73% of the legislature, both at federal and state levels are corrupt, while 96% of the police are corrupt.

It also went on to say 94% of political parties are corrupt while religious institutions were not left out of the survey.

Following this analysis, he came to the conclusion that “there are dangerous proportions of corruption in Nigeria”.

Mr Ogunsanwo went back in history and said corruption started almost 5 decades ago, when Aguiyi-Ironsi gave his maiden speech.

He stated that one of his reasons for taking over power was “corruption”.

In 1975 when Murtala Mohammed also took over from Yakubu Gowon, “the major reason was equally corruption.

“Our performance of corruption based on Transparency International right from 1999, reveals something dangerous,” he asserted.

“Even as at then, there was only one country, (Cameroon), which was more corrupt than Nigeria”, he said.

Still analysing the rate of corruption in Nigeria under various regimes, he said every leader who had ever attempted to fight corruption has failed woefully.

Forget About Biafra, Buhari Urges Youths From South-East

Biafra, NYSC, South east, Nigerian YouthPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Daura called on Nigerian youths, particularly those from the South-East, to take their minds off the actualization of Biafra and promote national unity.

Receiving over 100 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in Daura local government area, in his residence, President Buhari pledged his unalloyed commitment to the unity and prosperity of Nigeria.

He urged them to remain focused in life, pursue their dreams and reject those fanning embers of discord and disintegration of Nigeria.

Speaking specifically to corps members from the South Eastern states, the President said: “Tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it.”

Biafra, NYSC, South east, Nigerian Youth

“As a military commander, I walked from Degem, a border town between the north and the east, to the border between Cameroons and Nigeria.

“I walked on my foot for most of the 30 months that we fought the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, in which at least two million Nigerians were killed.

“We were made by our leaders to go and fight Biafra not because of money or oil, because oil was not critical factor then, but because of one Nigeria.

“So if leaderships at various levels failed, it was not the fault of the rest of Nigerians who have no quarrel with one another.

“So please tell your colleagues that we must be together to build this country. It is big enough for us and potentially big enough in terms of resources.

“Those who work hard will earn a respectable living. I have seen this country, I fought for this country and I will continue to work for the unity of this country,” the President said.

Biafra, NYSC, Southeast Youth

The President, who specially recognised corps members from the Niger Delta and South-Eastern states serving in Daura, praised the vision of former President Yakubu Gowon in setting up the scheme in 1973.

The President said that the scheme has creditably promoted national unity and cohesion by exposing young people to the uniqueness and cultural diversity of Nigeria.

“I asked for those from the other extreme of Nigeria because I very much appreciate the NYSC scheme and whenever I see General Gowon, I always thank him for that.”

In his remarks, Mr Egbewumi Adebolu, the Corps Liaison Officer in Daura, thanked the President for the honour of receiving them and making their stay in Daura memorable.

He said the youths strongly believed in the programme of the President to reduce unemployment and create jobs for more Nigerians.

Adebolu thanked the President for his personal gifts of cows, bags of rice and cash to corps members in the community for Salah celebration.