•Buhari, Bello, Aliyu, others felicitate with former military president
•‘IBB is Nigeria’s most experienced leader’ –Ex-gov Aliyu
Former Military President of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has said the only thing he prays for, is an indivisible Nigeria, adding that “there is no place like home”.
This was as well-wishers described him as the most experienced national political leader in the country at the moment. General Babangida said on Saturday during his 78 birthday at his Uphill Mansion, Minna that there is the need for Nigerians to unite and sustain the entity called Nigeria. Babangida said: “I thank the Almighty God for sparing my life up to this time. God has been very kind (to me) and I remain very grateful.
“My word to everyone is that, we don’t have any other country except this country. So, we must all work together, men and women; young and old to make sure that this country survives, the unity of this country is maintained.
To make sure we identify ourselves as Nigerians all the time “My prayer everyday for Nigeria is that this country of ours remains as one indivisible nation”.
While calling on Nigerians to continue in prayers for the peace and unity of the country, General Babangida said “this is my wish and prayer as I celebrate my 78th birthday, irrespective of age, tribe or religious differences Nigeria must remain an indivisible nation.”
President Muhammadu Buhari in his congratulatory message said: “On behalf of the Federal Executive Council, my family and all Nigerians, please accept my warm felicitations on your 78th birthday.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity Garba Shehu notes that: “On this special day of your life, the reminiscences of your courage and invaluable service to the army in protecting the sovereignty of the country come to the fore. Thank you for the role of statesman you are playing in the affairs the nation.
“As you age gracefully, the country will continue to look up to you for guidance and wisdom. May Allah continue to increase your health and grant you the strength to give your best to your family and the nation,” he added.
Governor of Niger state, Abubakar Sani Bello described General Babangida as a staunch advocate of the unity of Nigeria, peace builder and a dogged patriot who has remained committed to the corporate existence of the nation.
According to a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, the Governor said General Babangida as an Elder statesman has carved a niche for himself in the annals of Nigeria’s history as a unifying factor and an enigmatic leader among various political actors.
Also, the immediate past Governor of Niger State, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu told our Correspondent that, he was particularly happy that General Babangida was still alive and rendering services to God and humanity.
According to him “some are happy that he has reached 78 years and we are counting, we hope that he stays far longer because he is probably the most experienced leader that we have had so far in this part of the world and we need him around as an elder, a leader and an adviser.”
While extolling the virtues of the former Nigerian leader, the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, described General Babangida as a nationbuilder who has continued to champion the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria. According to him “the former military leader remains an inspiration to many, especially young politicians who continue to draw inspiration from his leadership charisma.
In a statement he issued over the weekend, Senator Sani Musa said despite resigning from active politics IBB has continued to contribute positively towards the development of the state and Nigeria as a whole.