Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) and former Minister of Defence, Gen Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), have berated former president Olusegun Obasanjo over his open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, describing it as being capable of breaching the peace in the country.The duo stated this yesterday at the 6th edition of the Abuja Festival of Praise, hosted by Danjuma, at the international Conference Centre, Abuja.In a goodwill message, Gowon warned Nigerians, especially leaders, against making utterances capable or breaching the peace of the country, noting that it was important for leaders, past and present to take heart not to say things that can bring about problems as all Nigerians will suffer if there is no peace in the country.”I will like for Nigerians to please take heart to ensure that taken are not taken to do what they should not do.Let all Nigerians, leadership and followership make sure that we do not make utterances or say things that can really create problems for the leadership and for the country because if that happens, if we listen to such utterances, there shall be no peace and we will be the sufferers for it.”I want all of us as faithful to bear in mind that this country needs peace and this peace can only come from all of us, the leadership, past and present and from all of us. We must play our part to ensure that there is peace in the country,” he emphasised, stressing that the message became pertinent in view of recent happenings in the country.Similarly, Danjuma in his goodwill message noted that even though he was mentioned in the letter, he had refrained from making comments to the press about it, insisting that he has unfettered access to the president and will speak with him “face to face” if he has anything to say to him. “The press have been after me, they want me to react to what Obasanjo said about Mr President and I told then that I have complete and I impeded access to the president and if I have anything to say to him, I will do so face to face.These are very difficult times and we must be careful, especially as leaders, what we say in public,” he added.Delivering a goodwill message on behalf of President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister of Police Addairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade (rtd), emphasised that prayers and songs of praise can save the nation and give hope for a greater nation.
“I strongly believe thy prayers and songs of praise like this can save the nation and give hope for a greater tomorrow in Nigeria, the land the good Lord has given to us.As we labour in our bid to build a greater Nigeria of our dream, a few elements struggle to destroy and disunite us.Why? My prayer as a child of God is for the collective salvation of our souls and for those few elements to repent before the judgement of God comes,” he added. Earlier in a welcome address, Gana, who is the chairman of the festival planning committee noted that praising God can bring peace to humanity, especially to Nigeria in view of the current security and political crises.He urged Nigerians to be at peace with one another during the yuletide season to foster the unity of the country as the nation is going through a trying period.The Abuja Festival of Praise saw over 450 choirs from all over the country and some from the United States of America (USA) converging to praise the Lord and usher in the christmas season.Some of the performances were by the mass choir comprising Abuja Metropolitan Music Society (AMEMUSO), All Saints Choir, Samaru, Zaria, Cathedral Youth Choir, Minna, St. Matthew’s Church Choir, Maitama, Abuja, and Festival Orchestra, Abuja, while guest performances were by The Amiables, Lagos, J-Cleff Chorale, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Mt. St. Gabriel’s Boys’ Choir, Makurdi and St. Luke’s Catholic Church Choir, Kubwa.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the event were former president, Gen Yakubu Gowon (rtd), former FCT Minister, Gen Jeremiah Useni (rtd), Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, former Adamawa State governor, Boni Haruna, former Edo State Governor, Osunbor Osaremen and a representative of the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi.By: Catherine Agbo