Chuks Okocha, Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja, Hammed Shittu in Ilorin and Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila saturday felicitated with the National Leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, who turned 68 sunday.
Also, Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its Kwara State chapter congratulated the APC leader, describing him as a symbol of national unity.
In separate statements yesterday, the leaders prayed that God “grants Tinubu, who governed Lagos State between 1999 and 2007, many more years of service to humanity and his beloved Nigeria.”
In a message of goodwill he personally signed, Dr. Jonathan described Tinubu as a patriot and political leader, who according to him, had contributed so much to the growth of the nation’s democracy.
He said: “I felicitate with you, your family and all your well wishers on the occasion of your 68th birthday. As a patriot, politician and leader, you have contributed so much to the advancement of our nation’s democracy and nurtured many individuals to greatness.”
Lawan, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ola Awoniyi described Tinubu as an inspirational political leader and a champion of national unity and development.
He said: “All through his political life, Asiwaju Tinubu has doggedly groomed leaders, set development templates and built bridges for national integration and cohesion, all of which he sees as necessary tools for robust development and great nationhood.
“Tinubu’s concept of leadership enables him to motivate associates and inspire in them confidence and loyalty. His imprints are indelible on politics and governance at the sub-national and national levels in Nigeria,” the senate president said.
For Gbajabiamila, Tinubu is an icon of democracy, who has dedicated his life to the tenets and ethos of progressive politics with unwavering commitment, focus and dedication.
In a statement by his media adviser and publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the speaker added that the APC leader had been serving humanity diligently and tirelessly in the last 68 years on earth.
He said Tinubu’s belief in democratic tenets “is unparalleled, and his democratic credentials are unprecedented and unrivalled. The history of Nigeria’s current democratic experience would not be complete without the name of Asiwaju.
“Asiwaju is someone that has become a household name not only in Nigeria, but in the entire African continent. Today, our current democracy, which started in 1999, enjoys stability due largely to the contributions of Asiwaju and others of like mind.”
Omo Agege, in a goodwill message he personally signed, commended the former lawmaker and APC National Leader for his service to fatherland.
While applauding the elder statesman for standing vehemently against military regime, Omo-Agege described him as a political icon and architect of modern Lagos.
He pointed out that Tinubu would remain “a reference point in Nigerian politics because of his selfless and humane nature.
“Your antecedents are clear attestations to my belief that you still have a lot to render to your fatherland-a Senator who later set the template for the greatness and viability of Lagos State; a political icon known for standing resolutely for democracy during the military era, leading eminent patriots towards actualising the restoration of democracy.
“Your capacity to work vibrantly with people across all forms of divides has enriched Nigeria’s politics and fostered tremendous unity of purpose such as that which birthed the APC,” he said.
Fayemi, also, described Tinubu as a leader of leaders, who had paid his dues in the country’s political firmament and beyond, thus deserving the respect of all and sundry across party lines.
“Certainly, Asiwaju’s actions inspire us -his admirers – to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. He is a political colossus who will continue to bestride the Nigerian political landscape for many more years to come.”
Fayemi observed that Tinubu’s political career started on a good footing when he was elected Senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Lagos State in 1992 and had since remained a major factor in the politics of the country through his numerous leading roles notably as an exiled opposition leader to military dictatorship and his path finding roles in the current democratic dispensation since inception in 1999.
“While wishing you a joyous birthday, I wish to observe as one of your admirers that you have indeed paid your dues and your birthday has become a festival, even if the COVID-19 has precluded us from a deserved celebration in your honour.”
In his own message, Abiodun praised the APC leader for standing firm as a principle politician who could not be swayed by extraneous influence, noting that it “is no means to be who you are: elected Senator in Lagos, twice as Governor. Survived and in the face of all odds remains the main man standing.”
“Like phoenix,” he added, Tinubu “is uncowed as the face of progressive politics, National leader of APC, irrepressible statesman and a titan, whose unconditional service and time-tested leadership inspire hope in most of us.
“For your exceptional skills at political engineering, altruistic leadership and unwavering commitment to ethical democracy, we are very proud of you and would continue to cherish your heritage of responsible statesmanship.
“At 68, it is our prayer that God Almighty will grant you the grace for many more years in the service of humanity and fatherland in excellent health, limitless resourcefulness and with renewed vigour to better all your previous records combined.”
Also, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC noted that as the governor of Lagos State, Tinubu implemented policies and programmes that had not only endured till date, but being copied and replicated in many other states across the nation.
The party said Tinubu did not only lay the foundation for the transformation of Lagos, but also put in place an enduring blueprint for the progressive development of the state.
Under Tinubu’s guardianship, the APC noted that successive governors had been dutifully implementing the Blueprint which has seen Lagos, viewed previously as a densely populated slum, become a modern mega city.