Jonathan, Atiku Salute Babangida @ 70
ABUJA, August 16, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has written to congratulate former President Ibrahim Babangida on the occasion of his 70th birthday which comes up tomorrow, August 17, 2011.
In a letter to General Babangida, President Jonathan prayed that God Almighty will bless him with “many more years of robust health, prosperity and continued distinguished service to our nation”.
“Looking back over the past 70 years, I am sure that you, your family and indeed your larger family of associates and admirers do have cause to be grateful to Almighty God for having granted you a life of great accomplishment and abiding fulfillment.
“You did not only rise to the pinnacle of your chosen career in the military, you also rose to become President of Nigeria for eight years,” President Jonathan wrote.
He wished General Babangida very happy and memorable 70th birthday celebrations.
Also, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described former military President Ibrahim Babangida as an ardent advocate of unity, tolerance, social harmony and peace in Nigeria.
The former Vice President, who stated this in a good message on the occasion of Gen. Babangida’s 70th birthday said that even after leaving office, Gen. Babangida has not lost his zeal and energy in his avowed commitment to the unity, stability, peace and progress of the nation.
According to Atiku Abubakar, Gen. Babangida is one of the initiators of zoning and power rotation in 1999 because of his unwavering faith in the right of every section of Nigeria to produce the President through such fair, equitable and democratic method of sharing power.
Atiku noted that Babangida’s critics should assess him more objectively and with an open mind, thereby appreciating his great achievements and legacies.
Atiku, who was the northern consensus candidate in the struggle for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket in January of this year, said when critics allow prejudice to influence their attitudes, they might not be able to appreciate that Babangida’s achievements are far greater than his perceived shortcomings.
While noting that there is no leader who is totally perfect, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar advised Nigerians to develop the culture of appreciating the contributions of their leaders and at the same time forgive their shortcomings.
He prayed to God to grant Babangida more good health and long life in his abiding faith in the unity and stability of Nigeria.