Nigeria’s former head of state General Yakubu Gowon, has said the country must immediately devel-op a good economic plan to take it out of the woods.
General Gowon who was the country’s head of state between 1966 and 1975 said Nigeria made signifi-cant gains from the three national development plans between 1960 and 1980, but regretted that suc-cessive governments abandoned the plans.
“We must have good economic development plans,” he said, “and the will and discipline to see to the correct and successful implementation of the plans. All successful nations normally adopt plans and programmes that are unique to them and ensure that all actors on the scheme follow strictly according to the plan. Nigeria should not be different.”
Gowon, who earned a doctorate degree after he was deposed in a military coup in 1975, was the country’s leader during the civil war.
In prefatory comments to the Nigeria at 60 ‘Big Book’, entitled, “Despite the Many Challenges of Na-tionhood, Nigeria’s Future Remains Very Bright,” the statesman said decades after he left office his mind has remained focused on the country’s affairs, its progress and development.
The Chairman of LEADERSHIP Group, Mr. Sam Nda- Isaiah, who received the special letter on Wednes-day, said, “The content is a window on the fecundity of the mind of the statesman. General Gowon remains one of God’s rarest gifts to the country.”
He thanked the former head of state for his interest in and support for LEADER- SHIP, saying part of the plan for the presentation of the ‘Big Book’ would be a special presenta- tion to Nigerian leaders who have written forewords to the book.
So far, President Muhammadu Buhari; former president Goodluck Jonathan; and former head of state, General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar, have personally written forewords to the ‘Big Book’, com- mending its value.
Gowon urged Nigerians not to despair, saying, “We must have the belief and the will in us to succeed rather than easily lose hope and succumb to despair.”
He congratulated the country on its 60th independence anniversary and said Nigerians must resist the temptation to be over- whelmed by cynicism and despondency and urged citizens to work extra hard to turn the fortunes of the country around.
He also commended the efforts of LEADERSHIP, describing the Big Book as “a noteworthy publi- cati-on.”
The Vice Chairman of LEADERSHIP COLLECTION Limited (pu- blisher of the book), Mr. Azu Is- hiekwene, said he was impressed by the excitement and expression of interest the iconic publication has created.
He also said it is significant that President Buhari said that while the country’s 60th independence anni-versary starts on October 1 this diamond jubilee would be observed for one year. He added limited content is already available for
viewing at: www.nigeriasixty.com.