President Muhammadu Buhari has sent birthday greetings to former President Ibrahim Babangida, wishing him a “long and healthy life”, as he marks his 80th birthday.
The president’s congratulatory message was issued by one of his spokesmen Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday.
Mr Buhari noted that as former military commanders during the war, both retiring as generals, they had mutual interests, great hopes and expectations in a strong and united Nigeria.
He expressed hope that privileged Nigerians like Mr Babangida and others like himself would recommit to ongoing efforts to help the nation to reach more glory, progress, and prosperity.
Mr Babangida was born on August 17, 1941.
He was Nigeria’s military president between August 1985 and 1993.
He led the coup of August 1985 to topple Mr Buhari who was then the Head of State from December 31, 1983.
At the time of the coup, Mr Babangida was the Chief of Army Staff.
Following the success of the coup, the new Babangida administration detained Mr Buhari for a very long time.
His administration also conducted the 1993 presidential election, which the late M.K.O Abiola, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), was said to be winning until Mr Babangida cancelled it for no obvious reason. Mr Abiola’s challenger in the election was Bashir Tofa, candidate of the National Republican Convention.
Mr Babangida later ‘stepped aside’ from government in 1993 and handed over the reinds of power to an interim government led by Ernest Shonekan from Ogun State.
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