The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has congratulated elder statesman and Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his 85th birthday.
Adesina described as “exemplary”, Obasanjo’s nationalist contributions to Nigeria, Africa, and the global community.
“On behalf of myself, my wife, Grace, and the entire family of the African Development Bank, I am writing to wish you a very happy 85th birthday.
“Your selflessness toward causes in Africa as well as global issues has always shown that your heart and passion are to drive transformation and seek solutions to pressing development challenges facing Africa and developing nations,” he stated.
Adesina commended the Chief’s “passion and commitment to the younger generation”, in “finding time and resources to encourage and support the youth, especially in agriculture”, towards the growth and development of the African continent.
“You have remained engaged with former Heads of State and Government across Africa, to relentlessly find solutions to challenges and mediate to resolve conflicts.
“Your contributions to Nigeria, Africa and the world are exemplary,” the AfDB chief remarked.
The octogenarian chief served as Nigeria’s head of state from 1976 to 1979, and later as democratically elected president from 1999 to 2007.
Goodwill messages continuously poured in from eminent Nigerians and Africans from all walks of life, wishing him sound health and long life.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar congratulated his former boss while praying to God to continue to bless “this giant of Africa” with good health and that his legacies of good governance should continue to manifest in many parts of Africa.
In a statement he personally signed, Atiku, who served as Vice President during the Obasanjo presidency said, “The celebration of Obasanjo is parallel to celebrating vision of good leadership and pan-Africanism.”
Atiku adds: “The vision which Obasanjo brought into governance either as a military head of government or as a democratically elected president continues to set the pace for progressive ideals in governments across Africa.
“In the decades of the late ‘70s when almost all of Africa was covered in military dictatorships, Obasanjo set the pace for a transfer of power to civilian government in Nigeria and that singular effort began the process of democratisation across the continent.”
In a goodwill message, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State described Obasanjo as a quintessential leader not only in Nigeria but globally.
He said the elder statesman, “is worth celebrating at 85, having served Nigeria in many capacities, especially for unity, peaceful coexistence and socio-economic growth and development of Nigeria.”
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary Gboyega Akosile, Friday, said Obasanjo is one of the few Nigerian leaders who had contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country both as military and civilian leader, and left with impeccable records.
He added that the retired military general, at the global level “is a leader to be reckoned with” due to his passionate involvement on African affairs and other global issues.
Ahead of the celebrations, 91 year old former President of Benin Republic Nicephore Soglo joined Olusegun Obasanjo in a novelty match played to mark Obasanjo’s 85th birthday celebration.
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