President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, described former military Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar(rtd) as a lover, builder, friend and champion of democracy, and also a patriot, statesman and a bridge builder.
President Jonathan stated this, yesterday, in Abuja at the book presentation of the times and legacy of former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (GCFR, CGS), titled "The Liberal and Evolution to Stable Democracy in Nigeria," written by Abdullahi Modibbo Umar.
The President, who was represented by the Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo at the occasion, noted that the former Head of State, against all odds, midwifed the successful return of Nigeria to democracy in 1999, and said that "little wonder, his membership of several international negotiations, mediation, peace and conflict resolution committees."
President Jonathan, who said that the conduct of the 1999 elections by the former Head of State, helped usher in a democratic process which is gradually maturing by the day, also stated that "he among others allowed the independence of the electoral umpire, created an enabling environment for political parties to evolve through genuine participation, robust political belief and principles. This feat really placed the cynics at their proper place who postulated that no successful transition could ever be achieved."