President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on his 85th birthday, today.
Buhari, in a release issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, described Gowon as a living legend and a symbol of national unity.
He said Gowon's visionary leadership style, wisdom and disciplined outlook had kept the country as one.
He extolled his faith and steadfastness in God in times of adversity, while courageously pursuing the interest of majority Nigerians for a unified and a stronger country.
The president said the elder statesman laid a solid foundation for the country to thrive, with the creation of federating units, and implementation of futuristic policies like the National Youths Service Corps, that had consistently served the purpose of fostering unity, harmony and expanding the horizons of young Nigerians for lifetime opportunities.
Buhari, who said Gen. Gowon's simplicity and humility made him leave the highest position in the country to return to school for further studies, said he returned to provide wise counsels to leaders, encourage good governance and set up an organization, Nigeria Prays, that "consistently" upholds the nation in prayers.
The president, who said the former head of state had stayed relevant in Nigeria and beyond, added that he enjoys wide respect from far and near.
He congratulated all family members, friends and close associates of Gen. Gowon who he described as an "exemplary leader" on the auspicious occasion of his 85th birthday.