Vice President?Namadi Sambo, at a dinner and presentation of trophies to winners of the maiden edition of the Ibrahim Babangida Golf Classic 2012, commended former President Ibrahim Babangida for his efforts in ensuring peaceful co-existence and progress among the different?ethno-religious groups in the country.

The classic and dinner was?part of activities organised by the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja, to mark Babandgida?s 71st birthday.

The vice president?said Nigerians would continue to be proud of Babangida for his role in promoting social cohesion and prosperity in the country.????

“As a statesman, we are proud to say that you have played and [are] still playing your role to ensure peace, progress and prosperity in?our country. We wish you many more years,” Sambo said.

It will be recalled that former presidents Ibrahim Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo recetly issued a joint statement calling for unity in the country.

Sambo?also lauded the?IBB Golf Club for organising the event, which he described as a birthday golf tournament for the former president.

He urged the leadership of the club to ensure that the club?s?decision to host the tournament annually is sustained.

“With its?rich historical background, we salute the IBB International Golf and Country Club, Abuja, having?at the back of our minds the General?and his?passion for the game,” the vice president said.

In his remarks,?Babangida congratulated officials of the IBB Golf Club for making the club?one of the best Golf Clubs in Africa.

He noted with delight the maintenance culture being exhibited by the management of the club since its inception.

?For the members who run this club, first of all, I want to congratulate you. When it was finished, my problem then was the maintenance of the club and I?m proud that you kept to this promise,” Babangida said.

Earlier, the Captain of the club, Anthony Azogu, had?narrated the history of the club, describing the former president?as the brain behind its?establishment and its prestigious site in Abuja.

He said that the?staging of the IBB Golf Classic was informed by the club’s desire to continue to appreciate the former president’s approval of the establishment of the club.

Sambo and?Babangida, who were offered provisional membership of the IBB Golf Club Abuja, were also presented with golf kits for their training as ?Amateur Golfers”.

The event also witnessed the release of 71 sky lanterns, symbolising Babangida’s 71st birthday.

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