The Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, has frowned at some misguided Nigerians calling for Nigeria to split at the slightest provocation, and called on Nigerians to celebrate General Yakubu Gowon’s 80th birthday, remembering why we must ‘Go on with One-Nigeria’.
The 19 northern states governors reminded that our forebears paid dearly to unite the country just flake off like sand before the wind, and warned detractors to have a change of heart before it is too late for them.
Chairman, NGF and Niger State governor, Dr. Mu’azu Aliyu in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel A. Ebije, said Gen. Gowon would be remembered as an “Apostle of Peace”, adding that Nigeria was indeed fortunate to have him as Head of State during the civil war.
He said Gowon’s role in Reconstructing, Rehabilitating and Rebuilding Nigeria and the ‘no victor, no vanquished’ position of the civil war helped Nigeria to heal quickly from the injuries of the war, and called on Nigerians to insist on ‘one Nigeria’ regardless of our challenges.
According to the statement, “We cannot forget the selfless leadership role played by Gen. Gowon during the civil war era. Perhaps it would have been worse if he was ethno-religiously based. He stood for unity, he stood for justice and he is indeed a role model for future generation of leaders to come.
“For me, Gowon is one of the best things to have happened to Nigeria especially during the civil war era. He is still relevant even at 80 praying for the continuous unity and progress of Nigeria. We must therefore celebrate his birthday, remembering the sacrifice many Nigerians have made to keep Nigeria from disintegrating.”
Aliyu said regardless of “our differences” Nigerians must continue to advocate for one united country, adding that those fanning the flames of disunity were doing so for personal gains. He said the collective developmental aspiration of Nigeria supersedes group or personal interests.
The statement said the election period is drawing nearer with interests, passion and intrigues, hence the need to apply caution in the way Nigerians go about it.
It further charged Nigerians to eschew ‘do-ordie’ mentality, adding that unity, peace and collective development is sacrosanct.