Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has said the country owes the uninterrupted democracy being enjoyed today in Nigeria to the solid foundation laid by the short but memorable administration of General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
The governor in a birthday message to Abdulsalami, who clocked 74 years today, described him as “the father of the new Nigeria.”
Bello in a statement issued in Minna yesterday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace, said Abdulsalami’s contribution to democratic development of the country gave birth to the current political dispensation in the country.
“You are a compatriot of immeasurable value, a man whose words are his honour. Though your reign was brief, Nigeria and Nigerians are the beneficiaries of the democratic foundation you laid. Your singular bravery saw to the enthronement of democracy and the re-positioning of Nigeria in the comity of nations.
“A committed and loyal officer, your towering credentials in the military saw you to the height of your career when in 1998 destiny placed the leadership of this country on you. A responsibility you delivered creditably to the admiration of the international community.
“Even out of office, your track records as a lover and agent of peace saw to your appointment as ambassador of peace by the international community. Your strong conviction in peaceful resolution of conflicts has brought peace to Liberia, Niger Republic and Guinea where you have been called upon to mediate,” he stated.
The governor added that “The government and the good people of Niger State are proud of you. We celebrate our icon today and always as he marks his 74th birthday and pray that Allah (SWT) will continue to preserve his life in good health as he continue to serve Allah, his creator, and mankind.”
The governor then advised the former military leader to continue to provide the much needed leadership and statesmanship counselling to those in authority to enable the country move out of its present precarious condition.
Abdulsalami was born in Minna, Niger State, on June 13, 1942.