President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday congratulated former President Olusegun Obasanjo who turns 79 on Saturday. Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, affirmed 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.
The President believed that 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. He also commended the ex-President’s vision and commitment to the growth of Nigeria and Africa, which translated into a historical growth rate of six percent for the Nigerian economy after a long period of slow growth, and also created a rippling effect that buoyed other African economies.
Obasanjo’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, Buhari noted are legacies for which generations will remain grateful.