Past Presidents and Heads of State have expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan for honoring them with the Centenary awards in Abuja on Friday.
They also declared that Nigeria has come to stay having remained together as one since 1914.
Seven past leaders – Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdusalami Abubakar and Head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, were honoured as ‘outstanding promoters of unity, patriotism and National Development’ at the State House, Abuja.
The former Nigerian leaders called for greater security and unity in the country and charged the future generations to strive to take the country to greater heights by achieving milestones than the old and outgoing generation.
Obasanjo said: “The award means Nigeria is making progress. If Nigeria survived the first 100 years, it means that Nigeria has come to stay”.
Buhari: said: “The award means a lot to me to be qualified to be recognised by Nigerians. My wish for Nigeria is security”.
General Babangida said: “The award means a lot. Most of us that were awarded today, the younger generation should try to emulate us because they will survive their sources of inspiration and aspiration”.
On his part, Abdulsalami Abubakar said: “Nigeria has come a long way and we thank God. The future generation should try and do better than what we have done and keep this country together”.
For Shonekan, “The award means a lot to me. It makes me feel to work harder for the unity and progress of the country”.