The Niger Government has described former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, as a patriot who laid the foundation for the current democracy in the country.
The government expressed the view in a statement in Minna on Tuesday, issued by Mr Jonathan Vatsa, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, to mark Abubakar’s 75tth birthday.
“Niger State Government extols the virtues of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar as he marks his 75th birthday, his rare show of patriotism laid the foundation for the present day democracy in Nigeria.
“His Excellency is a compatriot of immeasurable value, a man whose words are his honour.
‘’Though your reign was brief, Nigeria and Nigerians are the beneficiaries of the democratic foundation you laid.
“ Your singular act of bravery saw to the enthronement of democracy and the re-positioning of Nigeria in the comity of nations.’’
Vatsa described Abubakar as a committed and loyal officer as exemplified by his towering credentials in the military and his emergence as Head of State.
The commissioner said Abubakar was an agent of peace hence the international recognition and appointments he had received as ambassador of peace from global agencies
“Your strong conviction in the peaceful resolution of conflicts has brought peace to Liberia, Niger Republic, Southern Sudan and Guinea where you have been called upon to mediate,’’ he said.
Vatsa said that the government and the good people of Niger were proud of Abubakar at 75 and prayed Allah to grant him long life.
Abubakar assumed the leadership of Nigeria in June 1998 following the death of Gen. Sani Abacha.
He organised elections to institute democratic governance in the country and handed over to democratically elected leaders on May 29, 1999.