President Goodluck Jonathan, who personally wrote to congratulate the former leader on his 90th birthday, has extolled the virtues of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, describing him as a committed patriot and outstanding leader.
Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati noted in a statement yesterday that Jonathan wrote to felicitate with Shagari on the occasion of his 90th birthday which comes up today.
According to him, President Jonathan prayed that Almighty Allah will continue to bless the former president with good health and long life.
“It is with profound joy that I write on behalf of my family, the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and on my own behalf, to express very warm felicitations to you.
“I join your family, friends and well-wishers to thank Almighty Allah for His continued guidance, protection and provision for you in the past 90 years of a life of forthrightness and outstanding leadership with which He has blessed you.
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has described former President Shehu Shagari as a civilised and courteous man whose contributions at the periodic National Council of State meetings have always been constructive and eloquent.
“Although my government forcibly removed his government, he has always shown me civility and much courtesy. I wish the former president many more years of good health and peaceful retirement,” Buhari said.
“Although I am physically unable to be present as I am abroad on previously arranged assignments, I wish to send my good wishes to former President Shehu Shagari on his 90th birthday”.
“Alhaji Shehu Shagari is now the Grand Old Man of Nigerian politics, having been in the frame of public affairs since the colonial days”.