Nov 10, 2013 – General Yakubu Gowon Urges Nigerians To Shun Tribalism & Ethnic Conflict
Retired General Gowon, the former Military President who ruled Nigeria from 1966 to 75 is calling for unity among all Nigerians.
In this recent interview with Punch, Gowon claims the death of Chief MKO Abiola and Sanni Abacha was God’s way of unifying Nigeria.
He therefore urged Nigerians to let go of disunity.
Interview excerpt below:
“I can assure you that we never prayed for the death of the Head of State. In fact, we prayed for God to grant him wisdom to do the right thing for the country. What he told me was that prayer was good and that he endorsed it and gave us support for it. Then I knew that he could listen to words of advice that one could give him on any issue. But what the good Lord did was that, at that time, one of the serious political problems we had was Abacha/Abiola, the June 12 crisis. What happened then was that the good Lord took Abacha and paved the way for a return to civil rule and that was to give opportunity for the release of Abiola. Then Abiola, who was also at the other end of the crisis also passed on and therefore left the path free for a reasonable, genuine restoration and return to a civil rule.
That was achieved through some of the prayers that we did but we did not ask the good Lord for anyone’s demise. Ours is to pray for our leaders so that they can do the right thing for the country. Many other things that happened; the admonition and appeal to the people, were able to change the path of uncertainty to some positive end.
You can see that when you look at the various issues, this is what we have been able to achieve. Our prayer and effort are aimed at getting all Nigerians to continue to love their country, to continue to love one another, to continue to help one another irrespective of your tribe, religion, faith or belief.
The Christian community listens and tries to practise the admonition that we give them, contributing therefore to the peace and unity of the country. At the rally we had, we did fervent prayers. Do you think that with that sort of prayer and the way people believe in their country and love their country and want it to stay united and peaceful, do you think anything can happen in 2015?”