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Gowon To Military Chiefs: It Is Time To End Insurgency

Nigeria should have put behind the insurgency in parts of the country and general insecurity by the time of its 60th Independence anniversary, former Head of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon admonished on Sunday.

Gen. Gowon, the civil war leader, who ruled the country from 1966 till 1975, when his regime was toppled in a bloodless coup, threw the challenge at security chiefs.

“For the police, army and other security agencies, this is the charge; you have to make sure that by the next independence celebration, there is no disorder in this country,” he said.

Gen Gowon, who leads a group “Nigeria Prays’, spoke at the 59th Independence Day interdenominational church service in Abuja.

The theme of the service was “Peaceful co-existence for national growth and development”.

Gen. Gowon congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria on the 59th Independence anniversary and prayed that God will preserve the country and help it fulfill its prophetic destiny.

He added: “In the midst of the various inflicted challenges in Nigeria today, we can come together in the unity of faith to salvage the nation from its woes. I believe Nigeria is specially favoured by God and I am confident that God, who preserved it in the past will do it again if only we can continue to fervently pray and do what is right and good before Him and fellowmen and women.

“Prayer still remains the key to salvage our personal family and national challenges, but we must appreciate those who are committed to ensure law and order, peace and stability in our nation and ask them to resolve to do more to ensure peace and stability of Nigeria.”

He advised Nigerians to remain prayerful, no matter the situation, adding that love should be their watchword.

The former Head of State added: “I strongly believe there is hope for our great nation through our collective prayers, hard work, selfless and transparent leadership, and patriotic citizenry. By the grace of God, Nigeria shall fulfill her destiny. We should not be discouraged, we are at the threshold of a breakthrough and the dawn of history. Under our collective watch and prayer, Nigeria shall recover and rise again.

We must acknowledge God’s love for Nigeria and always embrace peace. We should not be discouraged. Under our payers, Nigeria will remain in peace.”

At the service, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the country was going through its last segment of security challenges.

He urged Nigerians to remain peaceful and  law abiding.

He said: “God Almighty has taken away the protection of the enemies of this nation, he has taken away their powers, the noise we hear, the turbulence that we experience, are the last gasps of the defeated foes. The days of freedom is at the door. We reach for the new Nigeria which its builder and maker is God. As we wait as it is declared in Psalms 46: 11. ‘The lord of host is with us’.

“God has promised through the mouth of his trusted prophet that he is giving us a new Nigeria, May I announce to you today that God is ready to take us to the promised land. We must remember that the Almighty God is the builder of the nation. God controls the destiny of nations and its people. Psalms 24:1.

Osinbajo narrated how God had promised to take the children of Israel out of bondage, suffering and slavery to the promised land, flowing with milk and honey, adding that through Joshua, God brought the promise to pass.

He noted, however, that some spies came back to declare that it was impossible to take it because of the giants there.

Osinbajo added: “They said it was impossible to take the land, the problems were gigantic, the issues too many, however, Caleb and Joshua had a different spirit. They said that because God had promised and because He could do it, the problems were just bread – a mere bread to be eaten by the children of Israel.

“God has also promised us a new Nigeria, a peaceful Nigeria, a prosperous Nigeria, a Nigeria where justice, equity and fairness shall prevail, a united Nigeria where the different tribes and tongues are not the reason for separation, but a joyful textures of our togetherness. God is ready to fulfill his promise.”

Osinbajo, who said peace was achievable, stressed: “We stand outside a new city, a promised land, a new Nigeria and like the spies sent by Moses, some are saying it is impossible, Nigeria cannot change, the ethnic and religious divisions are too deep, corruption cannot end, politicians are too selfish, too mischievous. Yet, like Caleb and Joshua, if we declare that these problems are merely bread for us, a new Nigeria is here. And each and everyone of us, our families our friends, all of us, will eat the fruits of the land.”

In his sermon, the General-Secretary of Ekkiesiyar Yon’uwa, a Nigeria, Rev. Daniel Mbaya, urged Nigerians to live in peace with one another.

He pleaded with politicians and public office holders to always shun selfishness and ensure that funds meant for the public are properly utilised.

Rev. Mbaya said: “Government should be fair to all Nigerians, without which there will be no peace. Youths should shun cultism and other bad social vices for the country to grow. There is no alternative to peace and justice. We should resist the world changing us; instead, we should be the ones changing the world.”

The cleric advised the church to take a positive stand on national security.

He also called for peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims.

President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle, pointed out that 90 per cent of Nigeria’s problems are caused by Nigerians.

He advised Nigerians to exhibit love so that there can be peace and development.

Prayers were offered for God’s protection for President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof. Osinbajo and other leaders at the Federal, state and local government levels.

The clergies also prayed for God to put an end to the insecurity issues in the country.

At the interdenominational service were: Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss, Mustapha, Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege; Science and Technology Minister Ogbonnaya Onu; Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige; Budget and National Planning Minister Clement Agba; Service chiefs; Niger Delta Minister Godswill Akpabio and Senator Rochas Okorocha, among others.