- Born on June 13, 1942, a former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar celebrated his 79th birthday and was celebrated by family and friends
- Among the congratulatory messages sent to the former leader was a heartwarming one from President Buhari
- Describing Abubakar as an iconic leader, the Nigerian president asked God to grant him a longer life
- The Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, also sent his best wishes to the celebrant as he showered prayers on him
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent his warmest wishes to a former head of state, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, on the occasion of his 79th birthday.
The president's birthday greeting was contained in a statement shared on Facebook by one of his aides, Garba Shehu.
Buhari described Abubakar as an iconic leader whose legacy of setting the country on the path of democracy has continued to yield results.
The Nigeria leader appreciated the celebrant for his patriotism, maturity on national discourse and how he always advocates for the unity of the country.
Buhari offered prayers for the former Nigerian leader, asking the almighty God to grant him more years to keep serving Nigeria. He also prayed for wisdom and strength for the celebrant.
Nigerians greet Abubakar
Nigerians also joined family members and friends to celebrate Abubakar. The comment section of Shehu's post was filled with birthday wishes, complaints and observations. Some wondered how Abubakar was older than Buhari.
Chris Chinyere Onyeukwu wrote:
"Happy birthday Sir. History will continue to remember you. You could have decided to sit tight like others, but you decided to reintroduce Nigeria into Democracy."
Hameesu Adamu Ahmad commented:
"Happy Birthday to former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar. May God bless your newly aged."
Okwudịrịọnyekwuruya Ikwunemere asked:
"So Abdulsalami Abubakar is older than Buhari?"
Yakubu Musa noted:
"You mean Abdulsalam Abubakar, a far junior to Buhari in the army is older than Buhari?"
Senate president celebrates Abubakar
The Nation reports that the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, rejoiced with Abubakar, his family, friends and well-wishers.
In his birthday message, he prayed to Allah to grant the celebrant many more years in good health.
According to him, Abubakar would be remembered for his demonstration of uncommon statesmanship and patriotism.
Abubakar raises concerns over insecurity
The former head of state had on Wednesday, April 7, made recommendations for solving Nigeria's challenges.
Abubakar said the proliferation of weapons in the country has led to over 80,000 deaths and close to 3million Internal Displaced Persons (IDP).
According to him, the Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, rising poverty among others, were challenges that the country must find a way to resolve.
He advocated for concrete suggestions that can inspire more confidence among citizens to ensure Nigeria remains one.