Atiku described Obasanjo, his former boss as the “preeminent political colossus in Nigeria.”
In a statement he personally signed, the former Vice President said Nigeria and Africa owed Obasanjo a huge debt that can’t be repaid.
The former Vice President recalled that Obasanjo brought about GSM operation in Nigeria.
Atiku noted that Obasanjo’s love and commitment to Nigeria had stopped him from retiring after leaving office.
He insisted that Obasanjo’s decision to bequeath democracy to Nigerians was commendable.
“Dear Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, As you turn 83 today (March 4), my family and I felicitate with you and thank God for your life. No individual living or dead, has bestrode the Nigerian political space as positively and purposefully, as you have done, for good and better, in peacetime and war, in times of austerity, and times of prosperity.
“It is not an exaggeration to describe you as the preeminent political colossus in Nigeria, a nation that owes so much to you. Indeed, many Nigerians would read about your birthday on their GSM devices, which are one of your legacies to the Nigerian people.
“Your love for Nigeria and commitment to her unity, good governance and stability has prevented you from retiring, a sacrifice that my family and I deeply appreciate.
“Nigeria owes you a debt that we cannot pay, because you led us to pay the foreign debts that we could not imagine paying. By that singular action, you planted trees for generations yet unborn.
“You hold the enviable and esteemed record of being the first African military ruler to have voluntarily, and without internal and external pressure, restored power to the government democratically elected by the Nigerian people.
“It was Not Your Will to be in office, but it was your will to bequeath democracy to Nigeria. And after 21 years of the Fourth Republic, Nigeria has cause to celebrate your democratic credentials.”