Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon on Monday paid a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II, at his palace in Benin, the Edo State capital.
Gowon, who was accompanied by a delegation, was received by the Oba and several palace chiefs.
While welcoming him to Benin, Oba Ewuare II commended the former head of state for his “gentle military style” and his contributions towards the unity of the country.
The monarch, who informed the former military leader that the post-coronation activities were still ongoing, said that Gowon was a statesman who was always welcome at the palace.
He, however, assured that the palace and the Bini people would always pray for the country and promote national unity.
On his part, Gowon explained that he was at the palace to congratulate the Oba on his coronation and to wish him a successful reign.
He said, ”I wish him (Oba) all the very best and wish him a joyful and successful reign for the good of the people, not only of his kingdom, but of the whole of the state and, of course, Nigeria, as his predecessors have done.
“I know his father; he was very close to me. And, therefore, I wish that his reign would be as successful as their reign and wish him well for the good of all of us.”
He also noted that he had been in the state since last Friday to pray for the South-South region and the entire country, through the ‘Nigeria Prays’ initiative.
Gowon said that God had solved many of the challenges facing the country through prayer and urged Nigerians not to relent in making their contributions through prayer.
“You know that God has solved a lot of our problems. What will it be without prayer? I think it (prayer) is doing it in many ways that you may not realise,” he added.