In a message of goodwill, Jonathan noted that the retired General is endowed with great wisdom, the proof of which he said was made manifest in 1998-1999 when he midwifed the shortest, but mostsuccessful transition of power from the military to democratically elected civilians.
A statement issued by Jonathan’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, in Abuja on Wednesday, quoted the former President as saying that Nigeria owed Abubakar a debt of gratitude, adding that it was fitting that his birthday fell close to the Eid-el-Fitr.
He said, “May you be blessed because just as the Muslim Ummah celebrates the end of Ramadan, Nigeria celebrates you for ending military rule.”
The message said further, “On this very special anniversary, I join you, your family, well-wishers and millions of other Nigerians to give thanks to Almighty God for a life of great achievements and inspiring service to humanity.
“Your exemplary patriotism and deep commitment to the development and unity of our nation is evident in your enduring legacies, having served Nigeria as a brave soldier and Head of State; who heeded the call to national duty at a time of distress and helped navigate our dear nation to the democracy which it now enjoys.
“I wish you good health and more productive years so that our great country will continue to benefit from your wisdom and wealth of experience.”