Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) was yesterday described as a leader who must be respected in line with military tradition.
General Ibrahim Babangida made the remark yesterday when three former military heads of state, Generals Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar met at the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari during their condolence visit to the monarch over the death of Dr. Olusola Saraki. Babangida who was first offered the microphone to give his condolence message by the master of ceremony, rejected the offer and stated that, “In military, we have our tradition of doing things. Gen. Buhari is our leader and he is the one to speak on our behalf.”
Babangida later handed over the microphone to Buhari, eliciting general laughter at the gathering. General Buhari in his condolence message said they were in Ilorin to condole with the Emir and people of Kwara State over the death of the political icon in the state Dr Olusola Saraki. According to him, Dr. Saraki did a lot for the downtrodden in the state and Nigeria at large.
He urged the younger ones to emulate those good virtues and prayed that Almighty Allah grant the deceased Aljannah firdaus. He later handed over the microphone to General Babangida who declined to take it. Babangida said, “the General has spoken on our behalf and who am I to speak after my leader.” In his response, Alhaji Sulu-Gambari expressed happiness over what he described as a rare opportunity of hosting three great men and military heads of state in his palace, stressing that, “This is a testimony that the North is one and it must continue to remain as one.”
The monarch, however urged them to bury their differences in the interest of peace and tranquility for the people of the northern region. He commended them for being pride of the nation. Gen. Buhari later proceded to the GRA residence of Brig. Gen. Tunde Idiagbon where he met with the family and offered prayers on his tomb and urged God to grant him eternal rest.