Students have joined Nigerian leaders, including ex-military leader Ibrahim Babangida to felicitate with President Muhammadu Buhari who will celebrate his 76th birthday on Monday.
The National Association of Nigerian Students’ (NANS) National Public Relations Officer, Mr Bestman Okereafor, issued a birthday message on Sunday in Enugu.
Okereafor said that Buhari, who is also the Chairman of Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), had displayed great commitment in repositioning Africa for growth and economic sustainability.
“The national secretariat of NANS joins the World, ECOWAS and Progressive minded Nigerians in wishing our beloved President and ECOWAS Chairman, Muhammadu Buhari, a happy 76th birthday.
“Mr President, no doubt, has consistently displayed an unrivaled commitment to a better Africa and Nigeria.
“Nigerian students both home and in Diaspora are sincerely praying that God upholds, strengthen and preserve you, Mr President.
“We also pray that God help you lead this country in the right direction of progress, peace and prosperity for all,’’ he said.
Okereafor, however, said that NANS was also calling on Buhari to consider a cabinet reshuffle.
“There is a need to bring on board young, fresh and capable hands into your cabinet to man critical and growing areas especially in some sectors of the nation’s economy,’’ he added.
Babangida had also heaped praises on President Buhari, acknowledging that the man he toppled in a coup d’etat in 1985 has remained focused and shown tremendous energy and vibrancy in running the affairs of Nigeria since 2015.
Babangida also acknowledged Buhari’s patriotism and commitment to serve the nation diligently with honesty and sincerity of purpose.
Babangida noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has been “an excellent role model to many young aspiring politicians and even to the not-so-young, because of the way and manner you have managed to sustain the survival of our country as an indivisible one nation albeit in the face of many daunting diversions.”
“You achieved great success in the fight against corruption, terrorism and other forms of insecurity in addition to getting our country out of economic recession.
“I wish to congratulate you for all the achievements you have recorded in your lifetime and particularly for your humility, deep sense of honesty and faith you have shown in the various aspects of governance, politics and democracy as our President.”
” As we get over our mid-seventies, we can say with all sense of modesty that we should celebrate every birthday anniversary with prayers in order for us to thank Allah for all the blessings and the bounties He showered upon us.
“It is only fair that we pause and reflect in our own different ways on all the life’s challenges we face day by day and the positive strides we have been blessed to attain.”
“ A typical day in the life of a Nigerian President requires faith, poise, patience, tenacity, experience, strategic thinking and quality character for one to get through it.”
“I join the first lady, Aisha and all your children and grandchildren in wishing you many happy returns of your birthday.
” Aisha’s loyalty and support, as the home front commander, is invigorating since by our age we require much comfort, care and affection at home. Welcome to our club of the over 75, ”he concluded.
President Buhari was born in Daura 0n 17 December, 1941 and after his early education in both Daura and Katsina, he joined the army in 1961, one year ahead of Babangida, who joined in 1962.
Also Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state felicitated with President Buhari and praised his resilience in trying to build the nation.