Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state has described Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, (GCFR) as one of the living icons that are making Nigeria and indeed the whole of Africa proud.
The governor stated this in his congratulatory message to the two time President of Nigeria,Chief Mathew Aremu Obasanjo on the occasion of his 79th birthday celebration today.
The retired General and elder statesman was born on March 5.
In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Adejuwon Soyinka, Amosun said Ogun State is blessed to have produced such a legendary leader.
The governor added that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s place in the history of Nigeria is secured. He said the story of the country cannot be told without the mention of his name and his lofty contributions to nation building.
Governor Amosun equally eulogised former President Obasanjo for the leading role he played in the return and strengthening of democracy and democratic ethos in Nigeria both in 1979 and 1999.
The Ogun State governor however prayed that God grant the Balogun of Owu Kingdom, long life and good health, so that he can continue to render selfless service to Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world.
In a similar tribute on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari, who served under Obasanjo as petroleum minister, affirmed that the former president had contributed “immensely to the institutionalisation of Democracy in Nigeria and Africa through his personal sacrifice, extensive local and international networks, and God-given wisdom.’’
President Buhari maintained that Chief Obasanjo’s place in global history was assured for successfully handing over power to a civilian government in 1979 after serving as a military Head of State.
According to the president, Obasanjo, who is approaching the octogenarian circle returned to power in 1999 through elections to stabilise the polity, during which “he most remarkably negotiated a debt relief for Nigeria’’.
The President, therefore, commended Obasanjo’s vision and commitment to the growth of Nigeria and Africa, which translated into a historical growth rate of six per cent for the Nigerian economy after a long period of slow growth, and also created a rippling effect that buoyed other African economies.
He stated that the former president’s regular shuttles across Nigeria and Africa to counsel on economic, social and political issues, and his willingness to head election monitoring teams that had heralded smooth transitions in many countries were legacies for which generations would remain grateful.