By Sam Eyoboka
FORMER Head of State and initiator of Nigeria Prays, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, retd,penultimate Sunday declared that Nigeria would have been ranking among the great economies of the world if succeeding governments followed, to the letter, the national development plans of earlier governments.
Gowon who commended the selfless efforts of God-fearing Nigerians like the pioneer Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Apostle Hayford Alile, also enjoined Nigerian youth to be focused and fear God to effectively make quality contributions to the development of the nation.
Speaking as the special guest of honour at the St. Joseph’s Chosen Church of God, Osapa London, Lekki, Lagos harvest of in-gathering/thanksgiving service, the former Head of State noted that his regime dominated by young persons gave Nigeria quality leadership through the national development plans which would have catapulted the nation to enviable heights but were jettisoned as soon as his administration was overthrowned.
He argued that the economic blueprint his administration put in place was a long term that would have propelled the nation out of the classification of a developing nation to a developed one but those who came after him did not see reason to run with that vision.
Gowon who was dressed in a white agbada, also used the occasion to defend the 1974 Udoji award which many Nigerians described as a bad economic decision as it caused hyper inflation, arguing that it was intended to give Nigerians a meaningful life.
He said Apostle Alile’s effective handling of the Nigeria Stock Exchange was one of the achievements of his administration, and “I am proud to say that God gave a man like Apostle Alile to pilot the affairs of the place.”
He therefore urged Nigerian youths to emulate the likes of Alile who had demonstrated and continue to show that you can be in government and come out without blemish.
In his brief message for the incoming year, Apostle Alile said he was holidaying in his daughter’s apartment in New Jersey, US when he heard a loud voice saying: ‘No limit’, adding “God will give the Church and all those who are genuinely called by His name, limitless access to His treasure house.”
He therefore appealed to Nigerians to put their trust in God who is able to surmount every mountain in every part of the country and give the nation peace “because He is the Prince of peace.”
Earlier in a short sermon, the Western regional apostle, Apostle Godwin Ikponmwosa urged Nigerians to invest in the Kingdom of God because Jesus Christ is the sure place to invest to receive bountiful harvest.