Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, ormer Governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart, Bola Tinubu, and the party have felicitated with former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as he turns 70 on November 25, 2016.
In a letter he personally signed, Buhari said he was delighted to welcome Atiku “to the 70s club,” and prayed that Allah would grant him “many more years of good health and service to Nigeria.”
The president added: “Over the years, I have admired your courage and doggedness in defending your interests and your generosity in promoting education. The American University in Yola is one of your noble legacies, and my hope and wish is that it will endure.”
Buhari said both himself and the former vice president should be grateful to Allah, who has granted them grace to be in the 70s club, and sends “kind personal regards.”
Also, Tinubu described Atiku as a man of faith, saying faith has kept him going and waxing strong.
In a letter he personally signed, Tinubu felicitated with Atiku on attaining the proverbial age of 70 and urged him to accept that “there is a tide in the affairs of men.”
He said in the letter in which he addressed Atiku as his dear brother:
“I write to felicitate with you on the attainment of the proverbial age of three scores and ten, 70.
“Your life has been a life of service to your people, your country and the causes you believe in. Nigeria has been well served by your stewardship and leadership.
“Your steadfastness in walking the democratic path sets you apart as a leader with substance.
“Your passion for education has seen you invest your time and resources in education, knowing full well that when you educate people, you educate a nation.
“You are a man of faith. Your faith has kept you going and kept you strong. I urge you to accept that there is a tide in the affairs of men.
You must continue to serve Nigeria well even as a private citizen. And a notable leader.
“Do not relent because Nigeria needs you and others like you to continue to make life more meaningful.
“We must continue to explore common grounds towards promoting the common good. I pray for a long life and continued good health for Turaki Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar.”
On its part, the APC praised the Atiku for his numerous contributions to the development of the country.
The party in its birthday message to Atiku, said the history of Nigeria is incomplete without copious reference to his contributions to the economic development of Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the former vice president was hailed for his solid contributions to the growth of the party and entrenching democracy in the country.
The letter read: “Our great party, the APC celebrates with your excellency on the occasion of your 70th birthday. The history of Nigeria is incomplete without copious reference to your immense contributions to the social, political and economic development of the country.
“Over the years, you have proven yourself as a democrat, detrabalised leader, elder statesman, successful businessman, political icon and philanthropist.
“The party particularly laud your investment in the country’s education sector and other business ventures. These investments have touched lives positively and generated employment for many Nigerians.
“As a party leader, the APC attest to your solid contributions to the growth of our great party and entrenching democracy in the country. The APC wishes you many more happy, healthy and fulfilled years of service to the party and nation.”