Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has heaped praise on a former military leader, Murtala Muhammed who was assassinated on February 13, 1976.
Murtala took over from General Yakubu Gowon who was overthrown while attending the 12th summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in Kampala, Uganda.
He was assassinated on his way to his office in Dodan Barracks, Lagos in an attempted coup attempt led by Lt, Col. Buka Suka Dimka.
In his message on Twitter, Atiku described Murtala as a “real Nigerian hero.”
He wrote, “Forty six years ago, we lost a real Nigerian hero. A man who gave so much to this nation, and paid the supreme price for the love of Nigeria.
“I remember the great pride and patriotism Nigerians had after his ‘Africa Has Come of Age’ speech at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Organisation of African Unity in Addis Ababa, on Sunday, January 11, 1976. He saw the future that he never got to live in.
“Murtala Mohammed was in a hurry to develop Nigeria and in his determined progressivism, he planted trees, whose shades he never lived to enjoy, including the new Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Indigenisation policy, which increased the participation of Nigerians in their own economy, and the purest, objective and most effective fight against corruption that this clime has ever seen.
“In the end, this pan-African, and pan Nigerian symbol of hope renewed our commitment to the unity of Nigeria, and our zeal for a better tomorrow, via the charisma and singleminded vision that he brought into governance.
“Today, I remember him as always. May his soul continue to rest in peace, and may Almighty Allah grant him al jannah firdaus.”
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