The Chairman of Executive Group and Board Member, Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Ayo Ogunsan, has heaped encomium on former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), on the occasion of his birthday.
Ogunsan described Gowon, who clocks 86 today, as a godfearing man who has recorded monumental achievements in both private and public life.
In a congratulatory message, Ogunsan said personalities like Gowon are hard to come by.
“If I have to describe the state of my heart on this ceremonious occasion of the 86th birthday of one of the greatest men alive on earth in the person of Gen. Yakubu Gowon, I would simply say I am lost for words.
“It is safer to admit that no quantum of words or rhetorics can convey the personality of a man who is a father, spiritual leader and mentor to me. When your path crosses that of a man in the similitude of the General, especially when you are lucky to have him as a father, then, that alone is worth any length of testimony.
“To a large extent, I can confidently say that the former Head of State is a lover of God and godly affairs too. Suffice to say that the spiritual side of him as well as our spiritual connection is something I cherish more than rubies. He is an encourager, intercessor and God’s advocate on earth. One can only say this about a few people on earth though.
“Sir, as the convener of the Nigeria Prays Organisation, an interdenominational prayer network founded since 1996, your contribution to nation building has been monumental. You have continued to emphasise holy and righteous living as a panacea for the greatness of any nation like Nigeria. The organisation you willingly volunteered to found with no reward for you in return has been a blessing to many. This, most of us close to you, know too well and not cannot but be eternally grateful to God for that.
“Simplicity and humility have been godly virtues that your life is built round. This we know too well. As Nigeria’s youngest Head of State at the age of 31, sir, your good works when you held sway between 1966 to 1975 can never be forgotten in a hurry. One of such is the creation of 12 new states to replace the four regions in the country.
“Your disposition on national unity has been unequivocal and unambiguous, as you have continued to foster ethic cohesion and regional integration. It still amazes me when fathomed that since 1975, you have steered clear from partisan politics. One naturally would have thought that you would have been a politician today. At 86, you are still that very eloquent and cerebral person who has had to bag a PhD in Political Science from the University of Warwick, UK.
“On interdenominational basis, worthy of mention is your passion for peace and tranquillity amidst the spate of insecurity and restiveness. You maintain that the church must provide a moral compass for the nation to make the people imbibe the fear of God and to follow righteousness.
“Meet a man who has continued to use the weapon of prayer to address the challenges bedeviling the country. You reserve the view that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, as espoused in the Bible. For you, prayer is that formidable weapon with which fiery darts can be overcome. I salute you for teaching us the ways of godliness and holy living.
“On behalf of my family and I, may I wish you a superlative birthday filled with endless blessings with divine grace to finish strong. Happy birthday, daddy!,” the statement read.