President Muhammadu Buhari has sent “warm greetings to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his 83rd birthday, March 5, 2020, congratulating him for a life of courage, dedication and service to Nigeria, Africa, and humanity in general” a state house statement has said.
“President Buhari joins family members, friends and associates of the former president in celebrating the milestone, adding that Chief Obasanjo’s commitment to Nigerian nationhood remains outstanding and commendable, while also underscoring his sacrifices for the continent, including standing up for democracy in many countries,” read the statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), on March 4.
“As the former president celebrates the auspicious occasion, President Buhari prays that the almighty God will grant him longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation and the continent.”
Mr Obasanjo’s vice president during his administration, Atiku Abubakar, also paid tribute to him on Wednesday.
“As you turn 83 today (March 5), my family and I felicitate with you and thank God for your life. No individual living or dead, has bestrode the Nigerian political space as positively and purposefully, as you have done, for good and better, in peace time and war, in times of austerity, and times of prosperity.
“It is not an exaggeration to describe you as the preeminent political colossus in Nigeria, a nation that owes so much to you. Indeed, many Nigerians would read about your birthday on their GSM devices, which are one of your legacies to the Nigerian people.
“Your love for Nigeria and commitment to her unity, good governance and stability has prevented you from retiring, a sacrifice that my family and I deeply appreciate.
“From The Congo, to South Africa, to Angola, to Liberia and São Tomé and Príncipe, your democratic finger prints on the African continent is indelible. You have served and still serve as a beacon of democracy and a guardian of constitutionality.
“Nigeria owes you a debt that we cannot pay, because you led us to pay the foreign debts that we could not imagine paying. By that singular action, you planted trees for generations yet unborn.
“You hold the enviable and esteemed record of being the first African military ruler to have voluntarily, and without internal and external pressure, restored power to the government democratically elected by the Nigerian people. It was Not Your Will to be in office, but it was your will to bequeath democracy to Nigeria. And after 21 years of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has cause to celebrate your democratic credentials.
“Happy birthday President Obasanjo. You are beloved now and forever,” he said.