President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, via telephone conversation from London, felicitated with a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, confirmed this development in a statement he issued in Abuja on Sunday.
According to the president, who is on medical vacation in London, a time like this provides opportunity to reflect on Mr. Obasanjo’s invaluable roles and contributions to the unity and cohesion of Nigeria, the brotherhood of all Africans, as well as peace and amity over the globe.
Mr. Buhari described the former president as “a true citizen of the world”.
While recalling their days in the military, President Buhari said: “”Those of us who served under you in various capacities recall a man with boundless energy, with razor sharp mind, and one who does not suffer fools gladly. Working with you was a school in itself, and the lessons learnt are worth their weight in gold.”
The statement said: “”Chief Obasanjo wished President Buhari good health, adding he stands together with him in prayers, so that he can return soon to continue the good work he is doing for the country.’’
Mr. Obasanjo was Nigeria’s former military ruler (1976 to 1979) and democratically elected president (1999 to 2007).
Earlier, the president spoke with Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi.
A government house statement issued in Lokoja said that Mr. Buhari, who made the call in the evening, interacted with the governor for a couple of minutes.
The Director General on media and strategy to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, who signed the statement, said Mr. Bello received the call in Lagos on his way back from Abeokuta, where he attended the inauguration of Obasanjo Library.
“The President thanked the governor for his support and his leadership qualities.
“He told the governor that he was observing rest and will return very soon to continue his assignment of providing purposeful leadership to the nation,” Mr. Fanwo said.
He said Mr. Bello received the call in the presence of the Speaker of the state house of assembly, Ahmed Imam, some members of the house, commissioners and top government functionaries.
The president has been in the UK for over 40 days on medical vacation during which period, his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, has acted as president.