Nigeria’s election has shamed doomsayers – Gowon

Yakubu Gowon
Yakubu Gowon

Former military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, has said that the peaceful conduct of March 28 Presidential poll, won by Muhammadu Buhari, has shamed doomsayers that Nigeria would break up in 2015.

“No one will ever repeat that wild and arrogant prediction that Nigeria will go under; those doomsayers have been shamed and Nigeria will grow from strength to strength,” Mr. Gowon told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Jos.

While recalling the prediction that the country would disintegrate in 2015, Mr. Gowon declared that those that made the prediction did not reckon with Nigeria’s ability to solve its problems.

“The nation has always had the mechanism to tackle its concerns and this election and its peaceful outcome have proved that a united and focused nation would always survive and move toward greatness,” he said.

The former Head of State expressed happiness that the polls were adjudged free and fair by local and international observers, and commended the patience and resilience of the voters, who defied rain and the scorching to cast their votes.

“During the elections, I visited polling units in Asokoro, Karu, Nyanya, Maitama and Wuse; the people came early and in many cases waited for INEC officials that came late. I was touched by such commitment.

“I was also touched by the good spirit and camaraderie amongst the voters as they waited to vote; I was also happy that they were very friendly and did not allow their political differences to tamper with the fact that they all had one destiny,” he said.

Mr. Gowon also commended INEC officials, especially the NYSC members, for insisting on doing the right thing, and urged Nigerians to keep that spirit so that democratic governance would come of age.

He specially praised President Goodluck Jonathan for quickly calling to congratulate the winner, and described that step a “very soothing balm that ended all fears and anxieties”.

“The President’s gracious congratulation saved Nigeria from violence. That good wish was very timely and saved Nigeria’s democracy.

“There is no doubt that it set the tone for peace because the situation would have been otherwise if he had remained silent and allowed his supporters to interpret that silence their own way.

“It is something that has never happened in Africa, and definitely not in Nigeria, so we must respect that spirit and challenge other politicians to emulate it,” he said.

Mr. Gowon advised Mr. Buhari to listen to Nigerians and do their bidding.

“Nigerians wanted a change, so Buhari must offer that change. They complained of corruption, insecurity and a slow economy. The new helmsman must address these issues,” he said.

While wishing Mr. Buhari divine wisdom, he challenged him to strive to do better than his predecessor so that Nigerians would see and feel the difference.

(NAN)


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  • Maitama Tambari

    Uhmmmmmmmm. Gowon.

  • Bin Fodio

    Was Gowon advocate for change, or was he neutral or pro GEJ?

    • TKBaba

      Gowon was sitting on the fence waiting for the final whistle…before jumping with the winner.

  • Otile

    Arna Gowon, faithful servant of the Fulani.

  • mukaro

    Surprised this article didn’t give a deserved credit to PenCom, especially under the last leadership for activating the PTAD provisions in the Pension Reform Act 2004.

    Although it was contained in that Act, nobody had the courage to activate it since it would practically end the fraud perpetrated in the various pension departments. But the Anohu-Amazu during her tenure as Acting DG took the bold step to have PTAD activated and an Executive Secretary for the sub-agency appointed by Goodluck Jonathan.

    The article did not also give credit to PenCom, especially under the last leadership for the proper restructure of administration of pensions under the Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) through the proper establishment of PTAD in the Pension Reform in 2014.

    Although the Pension Transition Arrangement Department (PTAD) was provided for in the PRA
    (2004) for the administration of pensions for pensioners under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS) in order to end the era of impunity; tampering with pension funds and other instances of widespread corruption in various pension departments, it was rather fluid and never really activated at all. That was why it was possible for pension looters to go on looting spree.

    It was therefore not surprising that the proper establishment of the PTAD for greater efficiency and accountability in the administration and payment of pensions under the DBS became a cardinal thrust for the Pension Reform Act (PRA) PRA 2014. It is under this reform as contained in Sections 42 – 49 of the Act that remittances are now made by the Accountant-General of the Federation directly into the bank accounts of pensioners, thereby completely cutting off the Third Parties (various pension departments) where
    the corruption actually takes place.

    This provision was celebrated among pensioners under the old pension scheme (Defined Benefits Scheme) as the shortest possible journey between them and their money.