The president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), on Tuesday praised former Commonwealth Secretary General Emeka Anyaoku, describing him as a diplomat who projected Nigeria’s greatness through his vision and diligence.

Anyaoku, who turns 90 on January 18, 2023, served as the third Secretary General of the Commonwealth from 1990 to 2000.

He also served as Foreign Minister under the Shagari administration until he was overthrown by the first Buhari regime in December 1983.

The president’s personally signed birthday message is contained in a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, titled “President Buhari rejoices with Emeka Anyaoku at 90.”

He said: “It brings me great joy and delight to warmly rejoice with an experienced diplomat and administrator, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, on his 90th birthday on January 18, 2023.

“I recognize the valuable contributions he has made to the development of the country, beginning as a young Foreign Service officer and reaching the peak of his career as Secretary General of the Commonwealth, through vision and diligence, and consistently projecting Nigeria as a a great nation

“Thank you for your political savvy and for using your wide network of international friends to support the country’s efforts to deepen good governance, democracy and sustainable development.

“As we reach the milestone of 90, we give glory to God for the grace of longevity, in good health and a sound mind, and we rejoice with you, your family and your loved ones.

“Happy birthday.”