By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, hailed ex- Head of State, Gen. (Dr) Yakubu Gowon at 86, describing him as one of the country’s leading statesmen.
Atiku pointedly declared that Gowon has remained relevant in Nigeria’s political, economic and social life as his views are readily sought by his successors in office, despite leaving
office since 1975,
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general elections said this in a press statement issued by his Media Office and signed by Mr Paul Ibe.
Atiku described the Nigeria’s ex-military leader between 1966 and 1975 as a
natural leader with leadership and human management endowments.
The former Vice President pointed out that as a military leader of Nigeria, Gowon governed with even-handedness and fairness.
Nigeria, Atiku added, enjoyed economic prosperity and peace the regime of Gowon.
According to the Atiku’s statement, “At the age of eighty- six years, General Yakubu Gowon, former Head of State and Commander- in- Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is among the country’s leading statesmen.
“A natural leader, his leadership and human management endowments came to the fore when, as a result of the political crisis that engulfed the country in the mid-1960’s, Gowon was appointed Head of State and Commander-in–Chief of the Armed Forces and had to prosecute the Civil War that broke out.
“The civil war came to an end in 1970 and like the statesman he is, General Gowon proclaimed a policy of No Victor, No Vanquished and ensured that the country continued to function as a single entity.
“As a military leader of Nigeria, Gowon governed with even-handedness and fairness. Nigeria enjoyed economic prosperity and peace.
“One of General Gowon’s lasting legacies was the founding of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. He founded the sub-regional organization with the help of his friend and fellow Head of State, Late Gnassingbe Eyadema with the full cooperation of other West African leaders at that time.”