Omololu Ogunmade and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 60th birthday, describing him as one Nigerian leader with a unique history.
Buhari, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, felicitate with the former president on behalf of his cabinet and also joins members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to celebrate Jonathan whom he said recorded an astronomical rise in his political history to the office of the president where he held sway for six consecutive years.
According to Buhari, Jonathan’s unprecedented political strides from a humble background, underscores the inclusiveness of Nigeriaâ€™s democracy as he prayed God to grant the former president the wisdom and strength in subsequent years to keep serving the country.
According to the statement, “On behalf of the Federal Executive Council and all Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on his 60th birthday, November 20th, 2017.
“President Buhari joins members of the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party (PDP), professional colleagues, associates of Dr Jonathan, and his family in celebrating the unique history of the Nigerian leader, who within a short period rose from being a Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice President to becoming Nigeriaâ€™s President for six years.
“President Buhari believes Dr. Jonathanâ€™s foray into politics and ascendency to the highest political office in Nigeria from a humble riverine background testifies to the greatness and inclusiveness of Nigeriaâ€™s democracy, and serves as an invitation to all those with interest to add value to the nation.
“President Buhari prays that the almighty God will bless Dr Jonathan with good health, wisdom and strength to continue serving the country.”
In its congratulatory message, the PDP described Jonathan as a man of honour and integrity whose track record as a democrat would be indelible in the history of Nigeria.
The party noted that apart from consolidating Nigerian democracy by ensuring free and fair elections culminating in the historic presidential election of March 2015, ex-president Jonathan’s era witnessed unprecedented infrastructural development in all areas of the economy.
In a goodwill message by the National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, on behalf of the National Caretaker Committee, other organs of the party and the PDP family nationwide, the party heartily congratulated the former president on his 60th birthday.
The PDP statement reads: “Your Excellency Sir, you are sixty years today and we are proud that you have made wonderful contributions to the stability of our democracy and the overall development of our country, Nigeria during the prime of your age.
“As you celebrate your birthday today, one thing Nigerians and members of the International community will never forget apart from your numerous and indelible achievements in office is your campaign message in December 2014â€¦
â€œI am the most abused President in the world but when I leave office, you will all remember the freedom you enjoyed under my government.
“Nigerians will remember that under your administration our economy became the largest and number one in Africa. Nigeria witnessed unprecedented infrastructural development in all areas of the economy. Inflation was at single digits and we had a stable foreign exchange regime.
“You consolidated Nigerian democracy by ensuring free and fair elections culminating in the historic presidential election of March 2015 in which you graciously conceded defeat and congratulated your opponent even when there were substantial grounds to dispute the outcome.
“Most importantly the rule of law and the human rights of Nigerians was greatly respected. For these and many more you have written your name in gold in the hearts of all Nigerians and you will be remembered as one of the greatest leaders of Africa.”