Buhari Praises Obasanjo’s ‘Immeasurable Contributions’ To Democracy, National Unity
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended former President Olusegun Obasanjo for what he described as his “immeasurable contributions to our democracy and national unity”.
This was contained in a congratulatory message by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, on the occasion of Chief Obasanjo’s 82nd birthday.
Describing the former president as “a passionate and great patriot”, President Buhari said that “regardless of our political differences with Obasanjo, I still hold him in the highest esteem because his contributions to the development of the country overshadow those differences.”
He added, “Chief Obasanjo gave a good account of himself and inspired his juniors with his wit and other leadership skills.
“Nigeria’s successful transition to democratic rule in October 1979 was one of Obasanjo’s remarkable contributions to national development.”
President Buhari wished Chief Obasanjo “more good health, knowledge and wisdom in the service of Nigeria and humanity”.
The commendation for the former number one citizen by President Buhari comes barely hours after Chief Obasanjo defended his criticism of President Buhari’s governance style, saying there’s nothing personal about his action.
At an event held at the Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Tuesday to mark his 82nd birthday, Obasanjo said, “You see that in a democracy, to criticise a policy of government is not a family affair; even if it is my brother that is there and is not doing the things that I believe he should do, he must be criticised.
“That is what democracy is all about. So, if I say anybody in government in Nigeria or any government in Africa is not doing well, let that government prove that it is doing well; it is not taking things personally,” he reiterated.
Chief Obasanjo claimed that having occupied the nation’s number position longer than any other leader in the country, and been the President’s boss (referring to their days in the military), he had every right to criticise Buhari’s policies to ensure the right things were done.