Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar
Says he is a soldier for democracy
By Chuks Okocha
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, Tuesday described former military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar as a soldier for democracy in Nigeria.
Abdulsalami, who took over from the late General Sani Abacha handed over the reins of government to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on May 29, 1999 after successful conduct of democratic elections.
Atiku in a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja, said although Abdulsalami exhibited great valour as a General in the Nigerian Army, his greatest feat as a soldier was building a solid foundation for democracy to flourish in Nigeria.
The former Vice President while eulogising the former Head of State on the occasion of his 70th birthday anniversary, noted that it was not by sheer coincidence that the Fourth Republic has witnessed the longest stretch of democratic governance in Nigeria.
He attributed this to the honest and firm commitment to make democracy thrive in Nigeria by the then outgoing military government headed by General Abdulsalami.
“It is not therefore by sheer coincidence that the seed of democracy, which he planted 13 years ago, has continued to flourish and remains enduring.
“I think much of the credit for the growth of democracy in Nigeria should go to the then outgoing military government, having planted the seed of democracy in honesty and a firm commitment to nurture it,” Atiku said.
He paid glowing tribute to Abdulsalami for his enviable loyalty and steadfastness in the service of the country.
According to Atiku, “Abdulsalami is not just a General of the Nigerian Army; he is a General for democracy in Nigeria. His greatest feat is how he successfully planted the seed of democracy in Nigeria.”