Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon/file

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has felicitated with a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, on the occasion of his 85th birthday.

In a goodwill message, the former President praised Gowon as a diligent leader who held Nigeria together at a difficult period in the life of the nation.

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Jonathan also described Gowon as a courageous and patriotic leader who diligently served Nigeria with honour and love.

The message read: “I rejoice with you and all your well-wishers as you mark your 85th birthday.

“You are a courageous leader who diligently served Nigeria with honour and love, especially at a difficult time in the life of our nation.

“Long after you left office, your passion and sense of patriotism have not diminished, as you have continued to work and fervently pray for our country’s growth and development.

“As a statesman, you have remained resolutely committed to the peace and unity of Nigeria.

“On behalf of my family, I wish you more strength and peaceful years as you celebrate.

Happy Birthday Your Excellency.”