President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated former President of Nigeria and elder statesman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, as he turns 79 years old on March 5.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
The President affirmed that the former president had contributed “immensely to the institutionalisation of Democracy in Nigeria and Africa through his personal sacrifice, extensive local and international networks, and God-given wisdom.’’
President Buhari maintained that Chief Obasanjo’s place in global history was assured for successfully handing over power to a civilian government in 1979 after serving as a military Head of State.
According to the president, Obasanjo, who is approaching the octogenarian cycle, returned to power in 1999 through elections to stabilise the polity, during which “he most remarkably negotiated a debt relief for Nigeria’’.
The President, therefore, commended Obasanjo’s vision and commitment to the growth of Nigeria and Africa, which translated into a historical growth rate of six per cent for the Nigerian economy after a long period of slow growth, and also created a rippling effect that buoyed other African economies.
He stated that the former president’s regular shuttles across Nigeria and Africa to counsel on economic, social and political issues, and his willingness to head election monitoring teams that had heralded smooth transitions in many countries were legacies for which generations would remain grateful.
President Buhari prayed that the Almighty God would grant the Balogun of the Owu lineage, who is also the Ekerin Balogun of the Egba clan, long life and strength to continue his service to humanity.