Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar has hailed ex-military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (retired) as he marked his 78th birthday on Saturday, August 17.
Atiku, in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, disclosed that in and out of office, Babangida positioned himself with tremendous grace and comportment.
“General Babangida as a young officer fought for the unity and indivisibility of our fatherland,” the statement read.
“And as head of state, he not only spearhead the physical relocation of the nation’s capital from Lagos to Abuja but politically too, championed and implemented the idea of a two-party system which enlisted the majority of Nigerians.
“In and out of office, General Babangida carries himself with immense grace, comportment and dignified charisma.”
The former Nigerian leader had earlier been congratulated by his former colleague in the military and now President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on his birthday.
Babangida, who annulled the June 12 1993 presidential election, took over from the then Head of State, Major-Gen. Buhari, in a bloodless coup d’etat in 1985.
“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,” a statement from Buhari’s media aide Garba Shehu read.
“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.”