Killings: Yakubu Gowon Calls For Tolerance Among Nigerians

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File photo of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) with President Muhammadu Buhari (right).
By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
Nigeria’s former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rtd), has advocated for tolerance and understanding amongst Nigerians to put an end to killings across the nation.

Gowon who was speaking as the Speacial Guest of Honour at the Nigeria Military School (NMS) 60th Speech and Prize Giving Day held at the school in Zaria, Kaduna State.

He expressed worries over Nigerians  killing themselves for no reasons, advising that tolerance, understanding, brotherliness, accommodation and patriotism must be exhibited to restore peace across the country.

“Is it Nigerians that are killing Nigerians? It is of course very painful, I have to raise this for you young boys to known and understand that killing is not good.

“We must remove evil from our own minds to be able to live together as Christians and Muslims, as young boys, you prepare to deal with the situation when the need arise without fear or favour,” he pleaded.

Gowon cited examples of Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Zamfara among others as some of the affected states, advising that people must tolerate one another to live in peace.

The former head of state lauded the efforts of the NMS Commandant, Brig-Gen. Muktar Bunza for molding the boys  simultaneously acquire academics and military training.

He said NMS had remained a path for promoting national unity amongst Nigerians from different ethno-cultural and religious blackground.

 According to him, the school had tremendously contributed to national growth and development of Nigeria through the production of disciplined, patriotic, galant and humbled leaders.

He advised the management of the school to adopt world best practices in training the boys to be able to

In his speech, the Chairman of the occasion and Gov. Abdul-Aziz Yari of Zamfara State reminded the NMS students that they were highly privileged to be enrolled into such prestigious school.

Yari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abdullahi Abdul-Karim observed that sound education was the hallmark of success in life.

He said time has come for us to realise the reality that natural resources alone cannot build our nation, rather, it is our human capital, particularly the youth, that must be harnessed and matched to our natural resources before we can achieve meaningful development.

“We should not be surprised that a nation which is rich in natural resources will be struggling for survival if it lacks qualitative manpower.

According to him the real premium placed by the present government of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) towards national transformation is on training our youth, at tender age, to acquire relevant skills in all spheres of human endeavour.

The governor charged the students to be respectful, kind, generous and tolerant of people with different views, adding that they should also avoid terrorism, violence and hate speeches towards building one and indivisible country.

Earlier in his address the NMS Commandant Brig-Gen. Muktar Bunza,  said the redefinition of training programmes over time have been the desire of the school and o fulfill the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian Army.

He said NMS is conducting a combined training package comprising of academic and military subjects. The academic programmes are in line with the national policy on secondary education in Nigeria.

According to him the boys are adequately exposed to the basic military activities to be enlisted into the Nigerian Army as soldiers.

“To this extent, we have been able to ensure that the dreams of the founding fathers is achieved,” he said.

While assuring that the NMS had developed into a national asset, Bunza observed that the tremendous contributions of the ex-boys to national development attest to the quality of boys graduating from the school.

He said the integrity and highest level of discipline displayed by the likes of Maj-Gen. Tunde Idiagbon affirmed the roles of NMS had played in human resource development in Nigeria.

Brig.Gen Bunza said the 60th Speech and Prize Giving Day had created a platform for those in attendance to benefit from the wealth of experience of a father, an elder statesman and symbol of Nigeria’s unity, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), the Special Guest of Honour.

“The present situation in the country and the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in unifying the country called for the need to bring in a recognised symbol of Nigerian unity to interact with these young and promising Nigerians.

 “Sir, let me re-echo your desire to ensure that Nigeria remain one from your independence speech 1967 where you made it clear that: Nigeria must remain one indivisible country.”

“You also re-emphasised the need for absolute justice at the end of the civil war by N surfing that the Igbos were not only given their rightful position in the country but all the properties they abandoned were returned to them.”

Students who distinguished themselves and excelled in different fields were presented with various prizes.

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