President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said former President Olusegun Obasanjo has made immense contribution to the growth of Nigeria.
While congratulating the former Nigeria President who will be 79-years-old on Saturday, Buhari said Obasanjo’s place in global history is assured. He extolled the elder statesman for stabilising the country’s democracy, saying many generations will remain grateful to him. “The president affirms that the former president, who is approaching the octogenarian cycle, has contributed immensely to the institutionalization of democracy in Nigeria and Africa through his personal sacrifice, extensive local and international networks, and God-given wisdom,” Femi Adesina, Buhari’s spokesman, said in a statement.
“President Buhari believes that Chief Obasanjo’s place in global history is assured for successfully handing over power to a civilian government in 1979 after serving as a military head of state, and returning to power in 1999 through elections to stabilize the polity, during which he most remarkably negotiated a debt relief for Nigeria. “The president warmly commends Chief Obasanjo’s vision and commitment to the growth of Nigeria and Africa, which translated into a historical growth rate of 6 percent for the Nigerian economy after a long period of slow growth, and also created a rippling effect that buoyed other African economies. “As he turns 79, the president avers 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 have heralded smooth transitions in many countries are legacies which generations will remain grateful. “President Buhari prays that the Almighty God will 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.”