Amby Uneze in Owerri
Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) has expressed anger over the manner the federal government is handling the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram terrorists and herdsmen across the country, insisting that his heart bleeds over the activities of these killer groups.
He described the actions of these groups as manâ€™s inhumanity to man.
General Gowon spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Rochas Okorocha at the Government House Owerri, yesterday, stating that Nigeria needs peace so that all the people can live and work together in the interest of one another and in the overall interest of the country.
According to the former Head of State, â€œwith prayers God can touch the hearts of all those involved in all these killings like He touched the biblical Saul and he changed to become instrument of transformation instead of destructionâ€, adding that no situation is too difficult for God to change for better.
â€œAfter the Civil War from this town Owerri, I visited Nsukka, Enugu, Abakaliki, Umuahia, and Onitsha. We were impressed with the way the children turned out to welcome us. They were saying, you are our parents, our leaders, please do not allow any Nigerian child to suffer what we suffered.
â€œGod can touch oneâ€™s heart and change the person into becoming a vessel of peace. My prayer for every Nigerian man is to live in harmony. We would wish, every man and woman, and religious leaders to rally round and assist in any way possible. Every one of us has a role to play not only the leaders. That is why we seek for Godâ€™s interventionâ€, he said.
He noted â€œWithout peace we cannot go further. Let us continue to pray and do whatever we can to achieve the peace we all desire. Your role and our collective roles are important.
â€œWe are in Imo for the Nigeria Prayer rally. A prayer rally we have been doing throughout the geo-political zones or States. This time around it is for the South-East Zone to host the prayer rally and Imo is hosting us. Your Excellency, we are grateful for the arrangements and support. We are impressed with your zeal and passion for Christ, suing for peace which is what the country needs nowâ€, he stated.
Okorocha in his speech, advised Nigerians to see the activities of groups like Boko Haram and others as national problems that require all hands to be on deck for solution. He noted that the challenges should not be politicised for any reason, adding that those who have lost their lives in all these madness are people of all ethnic groups, religions and perhaps political groups.
The governor maintained that Nigerians irrespective of their religious and political leanings should come up with ideas on how best to come out from these challenges and to stop talking in a manner that tends to aggravate the problem.
The governor added, â€œThe acronym Gowon means go-on with one Nigeria. If this leader (Gowon) seated with us here today had not ended the war the way it ended giving room for no victor, no vanquished postulations, today, we would not be having a nation called Nigeria. His name is synonymous with peace; a man who ended the Civil War without bad feelings.
â€œThis gentleman is 84 years old. We will honour him in our State. We are happy that he is still looking stronger and young. In the face of the crisis that we have today, he has continued to pray. I do not know what would have happened to the Nigerian situation if prayers like this are not going on over Nigeria. Thank God, in the face of these challenges, we have men who are busy praying for the nation and her peopleâ€, he concluded.