By ISMAILA CHAFE
ABUJA- The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s place in history has been assured for integrity, transparency and transformative leadership.
Tinubu stated this when he joined family, friends and associates of Buhari to celebrate his 80th birthday, on Friday night in Abuja.
He said the president would be remembered like Charles de Gaulle of France, Winston Churchill of Britain and Franklin Roosevelt of America when he leaves office.
Tinubu said Buhari had carefully influenced Nigeria’s history with a unique leadership style that is selfless, sacrificial and responsive to the needs of the people.
“You have been at the helm of affairs at a critical time in Nigeria’s history. We have seen a life of commitment, dedication, patriotism and honesty. You have done well.
“Our nation has seen the difference. The leadership style you demonstrated while reading your speech during inauguration, when you said dollars or pounds you had not, and even if you had it, you will not pay.
“You are a man of integrity, great commitment and exceptional humility.
”The nation may not at this stage appreciate who you are, as we know, but there is one thing, you belong to the ranks of generals who came at challenging periods to serve like Winston Churchill of Britain, Charles De Gaulle of France and Franklin Roosevelt of America,’’ he said.
The presidential candidate said Buhari would continue to standout among leaders for the courage he brought to democracy in Nigeria, demonstrating and supporting transparency and honesty in electoral processes.
The president was honored by family members and some close associates following his absence from the country on the day of his birthday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Washington DC, where he attended the US-African Summit, turning an octogenarian.
The documentary, produced and directed by US-based film maker, Ose Oyemadan, showcased the president’s early life, school days, military career, rise as Head of State in 1984, coup and imprisonment, release, PTF days and return to democracy.
The president contested elections in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, when he won and his re-election in 2019.
The narrative was driven by the president, and supported with deep and authoritative insights by his nephew, Mamman Daura, classmate, Sen. Abba Ali, close family members, friends, aides and political associates, including Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, and FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu.
Others included; President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, former running mate in CPC, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Special Envoy to Chad, Amb, Babagana Kingibe, State Chief of Protocol, Lawal Kazaure, SGF, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari and publisher/biographer, John Paden.
Speakers in the documentary underscored the president’s integrity, loyalty and commitment to national development, and his distaste for tribalism, laziness, insincerity and corruption.
At the event, which was compered by Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, tributes poured from the Vice President, President Buhari’s eldest daughter, Fatima Abba, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi, Oni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II and Emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Hajeeb Adamu.
Umahi and Amosun, who were in opposition party, PDP, told the gathering how the President’s warmth, friendliness and empathy attracted them to the APC.
The royal fathers on their parts, recounted personal experiences, and how infrastructural development had touched the lives of Nigerians, like Lagos-Ibadan express way and the Second Niger Bridge.
The night of tribute on the president’s 80th birthday was also witnessed National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State, Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, former Governors, Rotimi Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole, service chiefs, ministers, political associates of the president, and family members.
The business community was represented by Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabi’u, Tope Shonubi, Faruk Aliyu, Nasiru Danu and others. (NAN)