- Atiku, Gbajabiamila, Wike, others eulogise former president
Chuks Okocha, Olawale Ajimotokan, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Tributes poured in wednesday for former president, President Goodluck Jonathan, on his 62nd birthday, with his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari, describing him as an inspiration to future generations of Nigerians for his humility and sacrifices to stabilise democracy.
House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike; former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, and a former senator, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, also showered encomiums on the former president.
Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the sacrifices made by Jonathan for the stability of democracy and the promotion of sustainable development would continue to inspire future generations.
He joined the nation in praying for good health and strength for Jonathan to keep serving the nation.
According to the statement, the president rejoiced with family, friends and political associates of the former president and lauded him for good counsels to leaders within and outside Nigeria since he left office, sharing his experience of serving at different levels of governance.
The president wished his predecessor and his family more years of joyful celebrations.
Gbajabiamila described Jonathan as a gentleman, saying the former president has become a role model for many Nigerians for being a statesman.
In a congratulatory message issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Lanre Lasisi, the speaker said as a statesman, Jonathan should continue to be a good example and father to all.
“I wish the former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, more years in good health,” Gbajabiamila said.
Celebrating him, Atiku wrote in his verified tweeter handle: “Happy 62nd birthday, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, @GEJonathan – an evergreen face of democracy, peace and freedom. I wish you continued good health and wisdom” and signed off –AA
Wike described Jonathan as a selfless leader and a beacon of light for the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
He said as a statesman, Jonathan had continued to nurture the ideals of unity and peaceful co-existence.
Wike prayed that God would grant the former president good health and the divine enablement to continue to serve the nation and humanity.
Murray-Bruce in his verified tweeter handle congratulated the former president, saying, “I wish you, Dr. @GEJonathan, a happy 62nd birthday. The Nigeria we have today may not have existed without your selfless endeavour towards our nation.
“You remain the father of modern-day democracy, and it is my prayer that history remains kind to you.”
While also paying tribute to Jonathan, Fani-Kayode described him as a profoundly good man, a kind-hearted and selfless leader, a man of peace, compassion and a man that history has already vindicated.
He said: “You have been as constant as the northern star in all your endeavours; in standing for decency and truth and in refusing to react to the vile provocations and insults of your numerous detractors.
“You, sir, are the quintessential gentleman: considerate, restrained, calm even in stormy waters, faithful to the cause of justice, freedom and our nation, inspirational and exemplary in all your ways, kind to a fault and confident and focused about the future of our people.
“You still have so much to offer Nigeria and I know that you will still play a key role sometime in the future. I am proud to be associated with you. I regard you as my leader and I count you as one of my most trusted and loyal brothers and friends.”