By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has hailed former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for his undiluted patriotism towards the stability, development and cohesiveness of our nation, as he clocks 83.
Similarly, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said that no individual living or dead, has bestrode the Nigerian political space as positively and purposefully as Obasanjo has done
The PDP, in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, described Chief Obasanjo as a global leader and quintessential nationalist, who places national unity, equity, fairness, transparency as well as democratic values of inclusiveness and the rule of law over every primordial and sectional interest.
The party stressed that Nigerians, including generations yet unborn, will continue to celebrate Chief Obasanjo for his administrative ingenuity that led to “the nurturing of our democracy, settling of our agonizing foreign debt as well as creating very healthy governance policies that lifted our nation from a debtor and pariah nation to becoming one of the leading economies, and a strong voice in the comity of nations, in line with the vision and manifestos of our great party, the PDP”.
According to the statement, “The Obasanjo-led PDP administration unarguably revolutionized our critical sectors and made our nation an investment hub with attendant economic prosperity particularly, in telecommunication, agriculture, banking, manufacturing, education, real estate, railways, road infrastructure, electricity, oil and gas, commerce, aviation, health, rural development, among others.
“Under the Chief Obasanjo-led PDP administration, Nigerians were economically empowered; welfare of citizens and job creation were prioritized, leading to establishment of various social intervention schemes, massive employment opportunities and a vibrant pension system.
“The Obasanjo-led PDP administration also built very strong regulatory institutions including establishing our anti-corruption agencies as well as a well-motivated security system”, it said.
The PDP noted that Chief Obasanjo’s active participation in current national issues, even at the age of 83, especially in standing on the side of the people and speaking out against injustice, official manipulations, electoral malpractices, harsh government policies and escalated insecurity, stands him out as a true leader and statesman.
The party thus congratulated the former President on his 83rd birthday and prayed God to continue to bless him and strengthen him so that the nation will continue to benefit from his wealth of experience and patriotism.
On his part, Alh. Atiku Abubakar said that it is not an exaggeration to describe Obasanjo as the preeminent political colossus in Nigeria, adding that the nation owes so much to him.
The former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 general elections pointed out that Obasanjo’s love for Nigeria and commitment to her unity, good governance and stability has prevented him from retiring.
Atiku, in his tribute to Obasanjo, said, “As you turn 83 today (yesterday, March 5), my family and I felicitate with you and thank God for your life.
“No individual living or dead, has bestrode the Nigerian political space as positively and purposefully, as you have done, for good and better, in peace time and war, in times of austerity, and times of prosperity.
“It is not an exaggeration to describe you as the preeminent political colossus in Nigeria, a nation that owes so much to you. Indeed, many Nigerians would read about your birthday on their GSM devices, which are one of your legacies to the Nigerian people.
“Your love for Nigeria and commitment to her unity, good governance and stability has prevented you from retiring, a sacrifice that my family and I deeply appreciate.
“From The Congo, to South Africa, to Angola, to Liberia and São Tomé and Príncipe, your democratic finger prints on the African continent are indelible. You have served and still serve as a beacon of democracy and a guardian of constitutionality.
“Nigeria owes you a debt that we cannot pay, because you led us to pay the foreign debts that we could not imagine paying. By that singular action, you planted trees for generations yet unborn.
“You hold the enviable and esteemed record of being the first African military ruler to have voluntarily, and without internal and external pressure, restored power to the government democratically elected by the Nigerian people.
“It was Not Your Will to be in office, but it was your will to bequeath democracy to Nigeria.
“And after 21 years of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has cause to celebrate your democratic credentials.
“Happy birthday, former President Obasanjo. You are beloved now and forever”, he said.