Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has said that Governor Kayode Fayemi’s second coming as Ekiti State Governor was not a happenstance but a grand design by God to achieve a purpose.
Gowon said this when he addressed the congregation at the Government House Chapel, Ado-Ekiti on Sunday.
General Gowon, who lauded Fayemi’s resolve to complete all uncompleted projects he inherited from the immediate past administration, said it was a right step in the right direction and a hallmark of purposeful leadership.
At the well-attended service held ahead of the Nigeria Prays South West zonal prayer summit, the former Head of State and Governor Fayemi also restated their commitment to the efficacy of prayer in solving national challenges.
Fayemi, who has hosted the summit as well as the former Head of State twice as governor of Ekiti State, assured him that Ekiti would not stop praying because it is the only antidote to the various challenges facing Nigeria in general and Ekiti in particular.
Fayemi said God had blessed Nigeria as a nation, adding that Nigerians should never underestimate the love of God for the country.
The governor extolled the virtues of General Gowon as a leader who has always given wise counsel to up-coming leaders in the country.
According to the governor: “There is this coincidence that every time that our father has come here, I found myself being his host in Ekiti State.
“To me personally, the first time I saw our former Head of State in real life, I was five.
“He came on a to Ibadan and I was in Primary One.
“We were asked to hold the Nigeria flag.
“The war had just ended in 1970.
“So you may wonder how I feel anytime I had to listen to him and his wise counsel.
“His humility is something that is particularly exciting to me.
“For me, we are a blessed nation and its only that we underestimated how God loves us and that is why we really need to make God the primate of our lives.
“And in Ekiti, I want to assure you sir, we would not stop praying because that is the only solution to all our challenges.”
General Gowon, who is the Chairman and the Convener of Nigeria Prays, has urged everyone to join hands together and pray for Nigeria, stating that prayers can solve the nation’s problems faster and better than any other thing.
Gowon called on Nigerians to be part of collective rescue mission in praying for the country and our leaders adding that we must always think of other people in all our endeavours.
He appreciated Ekiti people for their commitment to prayers each time he had to come here for the prayer summit.
Gowon added that venue of the programme had always been filled to capacity, signifying that Ekiti people always give themselves to prayers.
He congratulated Fayemi on his election the second time and urged him to keep to his promise of turning the state around and leaving good legacy behind by not only embark of projects that will make life better for the people but as well complete any unfinished projects by his predecessor.
The former Head of State said: “We pray to God for our country, we pray to God for our leaders, the president, the governors, the chairmen of local government, and also we pray for the children who are able to worship with us, learning what we do at that age, the way our parents took us to the house of God.
“Whatever we do, we must always think of others, especially those who are in troubled areas whether in our country or outside our country. Let us pray for them as well because it is clear that we need prayer to solve some of these problems we have.
“Ekiti means a lot to me, a lot of things are happening in Ekiti. In 1998 when we came for the prayers here, I think we held it at the stadium and people turned out in their large number.
“At the end of the prayers, people turned to me and say they had a problem, and I say what problem, then they asked me what am I going to do about the people that were court marshalled and due for execution, then I said to them I will do my best. I said court marshal or no court marshal, Abacha or no Abacha, Supreme Military Council or no Supreme Military Council, if it is the will of God that nothing is going to happen to them, not a hair from their head would drop. I said it and I walked away.
“The following day when I got back to Lagos, about 7am, I heard that Abacha had died.
“And to cut a long story short, that was the end of any court marshal.
“Abacha had died earlier in the following morning of our prayer and a new Head of State was put in place who started his own transition programme that brought about democracy, return to civilian rule and you tell me that is not the handiwork of God.
“That is the prayer we have been praying, for peace, for tranquility, for return to civilian rule in Nigeria and God answered that prayer and it is from that prayer that we had here in Ekiti where wonderful things have been happening.
“Yes, I remembered when you (Governor Fayemi) joined us at the prayers before the election, and of course, soon after that, you became the governor.
“Your second coming is not merely a coincidence. It is for a purpose. And that purpose would be realised.
“Congratulations Your Excellency, and we thank God for what he has done to bring you back to carry on the good works you started but you were not able to complete, there was a little bit of intervention.
“That you are back today and from what we have heard from you trying to do, you said you are going to complete any unfinished projects of your predecessor.
“That is good and then you are going to do more. We pray to God to give you the grace, wisdom, courage and humility to be able to serve your people, Nigeria and the world.”