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Insecurity: Gowon cautions Nigerians

A former Head of State and leader of the Nigerian Prayer Movement, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) has called for caution as Nigerians continue to deal with security challenges across the country.

Gowon spoke at the Government House, Osogbo, on Saturday, when he led the leadership of the Nigerian Prayer Movement on a courtesy visit to the governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola.

He also called for a change of attitude among Nigerians, saying that peace and harmony would only be achieved in a refined society.

Gowon expressed regret that after the civil war, Nigeria was still struggling with serial security challenges from Boko Haram; kidnapping; banditry and much more.

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He said that if security agencies could not stop the security problems faced by the nation, the prayers could do so. By urging Nigerians to work and pray for peace, the former Nigerian leader said that peace was a sine qua non for socioeconomic growth and development.

He said: “I am delighted and grateful to God for the opportunity to be here to pray for the peace, unity, stability and progress of this country.

“We are here to pray for the well-being of Nigerians and for Nigeria’s leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to state governors, particularly those in the southwest.

“Our desire for peace is very overwhelming and, as members of the movement, our role is to pray for the unity, peace and stability of our country. I thought that after the civil war, we will not see any more crisis. But what we have seen … it is unfortunate that after the civil war, our nation has been struggling with serial security challenges that range from Boko Haram; kidnapping; banditry and much more. If the security forces cannot do it, God has the power to change evil men to be good again, just as He did with Saul.

“We have to be careful not to force ourselves to do things that make us hate ourselves.” We have seen the need to seek God’s intervention as the only way to rescue our nation from all forms of security challenges.

“We are here to pray and touch the hearts of Nigerians to embrace peace, unity and stability because we believe that God will touch the hearts of the wicked.

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“We are praying fervently to put our nation on the path of peace, and also to preach against things that can separate us or separate us, and I am delighted to be in Osun to preach love and understanding for the good of our country.”

In response, Oyetola said he believed in the effectiveness of sentences. He said that with prayers, Nigeria could work. He attributed some challenges that Nigeria faces to lack of faith in God, and urged Nigerians to renew their faith in God.

He also praised the former Head of State for showing a high sense of commitment to achieve a united Nigeria.

“You (Gowon) have committed to the service of your country, and even after your term as Head of State, you have been preaching peace and unity wherever you go. There is no doubt that he has supported successive administrations so much without compromising the unity and unity of Nigeria.

“I believe a lot in the effectiveness of prayer, and I believe that your visit will help strengthen peace, unity and stability in our state,” said the governor.