It is remarkably a thing of joy and an awesome thing for an individual to be connected in one way or more to the evolutionary history of one’s country.
One of such nigerians celebrities whose birthday for instance coincidentally co-terminus with the National day celebration on 1st October of every year is the Minister of Defence Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd).
What a pleasant coincidence and double celebrations for the Defence Minister and his other birthday mates as Nigeria Celebrates her 60th birthday.
Reflecting on a life of nationhood and life of an extraordinary Nigerian who has given his all, I mean his all for the sake of emphasis and still in the saddle of serving patriotically is the very motivational factor for writing this piece.
Certainly, the intimidating pedigree of unblemished records of life full of Service to one’s country in no small way define the Character and personage of Magashi. This is more convincingly for one to say that it is not by happenchance that he shares commonality of the same birthday with Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria.
Born on October 1st 1949, precisely 11 years before the nation got her independence on October 1st 1960, Magashi became a product of “Master destiny” and a rare gift to Nigeria who is destined to be a game changer- player in the anals of the Country.
As a school boy then, at independence the young Magashi was among the children who lined up the streets holding the National flag chanting “Nigerian we hail thee” in joyous mood, celebrating the nation’s independence. Unknown to him then that providence had symbolically prepared him to shape the course of history in the National Defence and Security architecture.
As a product of the famous Barewa College, Zaria, Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA RC 5, Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru and a Law graduate of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, his wide academic horizon and professional training fired his nationalistic disposition and patriotic zeal to render selfless service to the country. Hence he served meritoriously at various Commands, Brigade and Battalions.
History favoured the man of history who fought the Nation’s Civil War to defend her territorial integrity, served as Brigade Commander 15 ECOMOG, GOC 2 Mechanised Brigade, Ibadah Oyo state , Governor of Sokoto State and Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) as well as his current position as Minister of Defence in his tour of duty to the country.
General Magashi’s example of a man who shares the same birthday with the country is pure and simple that of impecable service to the country. His love for Nigeria is legendary and his humility as well as his simplicity distinguished him as a brand for the upcoming Nigerians to emulate in the task of building a virile nation.
The historical connect in the birthday of Magashi and Nigeria is evidentially vindictive of his uncompromising stance to make Nigeria a better place at all times by using the instrumentality of the various positions he had served the country to change the narrative.
He, as an accomplished gentleman General is leading by example in the best way possible to prove that the country deserves the service of all without wavering.
At 71 , Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi, CFR remains a quitisential administrator, a symbol of national defence and a man of peace.
The kano born general is ever poised attitudinally as a matter of patriotism to be silent on his birthday while thinking ,talking and giving more to the celebration of Nationhood than celebrating self. A disposition that has shown to all around him that elaborate birthday celebrations is ruled out for low key and prayer annually.
As the global community celebrate with Nigeria at 60, Nigerians and humanity at large celebrate with Magashi at 71. Happy birthday Nigeria and Happy birthday and many happy returns to Magashi.
MOHAMMAD ABDULKADRI is the Special Assistant Media and Publicity to the Honourable Minister of Defence.
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