*Describes him as an excellent role model to young politicians
Laleye Dipo in Minna
Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, set politics aside to shower encomium on President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of his 76th birthday.
Babangida described President Buhari as a role model in a birthday congratulatory message he sent to the celebrant.
President Buhari will be 76 years old Monday, December 17, 2018.
Babangida had of late become one of the critics of the All Progressives Congress (APC) federal government headed by President Buhari and had called for a change to a new generation of young political leaders in the country in 2019 ostensibly asking Nigerians to vote out President Buhari.
In the congratulatory message he personally signed, Babangida described President Buhari as “an excellent role model to many young aspiring politicians and even to the not so young, because of the way and manner you have managed to sustain the survival of our country as an indivisible one nation albeit in the face of many daunting diversions.
“You achieved great success in the fight against corruption, terrorism and other forms of insecurity in addition to getting our country out of economic recession”.
“It is heartwarming that at 76, in spite of the numerous onerous challenges of leadership, you have managed to remain focused and have shown tremendous energy and vibrancy in running the affairs of state with your acknowledged patriotism and commitment to serve our nation diligently with honesty and sincerity of purpose,” Babangida said.
Referring to himself and those who fought to keep the country together, the former head of state said: “As we get over our mid-seventies, we can say with all sense of modesty that we should celebrate every birthday anniversary with prayers in order for us to thank Allah for all the blessings and the bounties He showered upon us.
“It is only fair that we pause and reflect in our own different ways on all the life’s challenges we face day by day and the positive strides we have been blessed to attain.”
Babangida said in the letter: “I wish to congratulate you for all the achievements you have recorded in your lifetime and particularly for your humility, deep sense of honesty and faith you have shown in the various aspects of governance, politics and democracy as our president.”
He also joined the first lady Aisha Buhari, the children and grand children in wishing President Buhari happy birthday.
The message by Babangida was circulated to pressmen by his Media Office in Minna, Niger State Saturday evening.