President Goodluck Jonathan says the nation will remain grateful to former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, for “successfully managing and guiding it through an unfortunate civil war’’.
Mr. Jonathan said this in Abuja on Saturday in a congratulatory letter he wrote to Mr. Gowon to celebrate his 80th birthday coming up on Sunday.
In the letter, signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, Mr. Jonathan described the celebrant as a worthy, steadfast and iconic feature of Nigerian history.
The president said the country came out of the war even stronger and more united.
“As you deservedly celebrate this noteworthy anniversary on Oct. 19, I join your family, friends, protégés and well-wishers in celebrating you.
“I also thank Almighty God for the unique and richly fulfilled life He has blessed you with in these past 80 years.
“Over the years, you have continued to use your exalted position to engender bridges of love and harmony across the country.
“You have never failed to avail successive governments of your wise counsel.
“You continue to also demonstrate your unwavering faith and willingness to partner with us in our quest to bequeath to our collective posterity, a nation of which we can all be proud.
“Nigeria owes you a huge debt of gratitude,” the president said.
While wishing Mr. Gowon a happy 80th birthday celebrations, Mr. Jonathan also prayed that God would continue to bless, guide and protect him.