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FEC, Buhari, Tinubu, Gbajabiamila Rejoice with Osinbajo at 66
•Hail VP’s sterling service to Nigeria
•Osinbajo marks birthday with restored north-east insurgency orphans in Borno
•Assures affected children of the best
Deji Elumoye, Adedayo Akinwale, Udora Orizu in Abuja and Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the President-elect, Bola Tinubu and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila rejoiced with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, as he marked his 66th birthday anniversary yesterday.
Osinbajo set out to mark his 66th birthday yesterday, with a quiet morning devotion service at the Aguda House residence in the presidential villa and then spent time with the students of the Learning Centre in Borno as well as with children affected by insurgency in the north-east states.
Buhari, according to a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, equally felicitated the entire Osinbajo family, wishing them many happy returns, as their son, husband and father turned another year, in good health and sound mind.
Buhari lauded the sterling service the celebrant has provided to the country, as an academic, Attorney-General of Lagos State (1997-2007), and Vice President (2015 till date).
He applauded the way Osinbajo, a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), combined scholarship with governance, and pastoral work, commending such dedication to the younger generation whom the Number two man serves as a torchbearer to.
Buhari wished the vice president and his family joyful celebration, and greater grace ahead.
Similarly, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation/ Chairman, Presidential Transition Council, Boss Mustapha, (CFR) on behalf of FEC congratulated Osinbajo on the occasion of his 66th birthday.
In a statement which Mustapha signed yesterday, FEC described the vice president as an outstanding public servant, lawyer, pastor and the epitome of humility and loyalty in service to fatherland as well as to God.
FEC said Osinbajo’s exemplary leadership qualities, as exemplified in his unreserved allegiance to matters of state deserved emulation of aspiring leaders.
It prayed God to continue to shower Osinbajo with good health, protection and wisdom to enable him keep supporting the leadership of Buhari.
On his part, Tinubu congratulated the vice president on his 66th birthday.
Tinubu in a statement issued by his media office and signed by Tunde Rahman, lauded the leadership and administrative skills of Osinbajo.
He also commended Osinbajo for his professional accomplishments as an academic and erudite lawyer, which have seen him serve successfully as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice during his administration as Governor of Lagos and now as the vice president of Nigeria.
Tinubu said “I rejoice and celebrate with our Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on attainment of 66 today. Professor Osinbajo has been a remarkable intellectual in public service since he served with me in Lagos as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
“He contributed immensely to the success of our administration and led our justice sector reforms.”
The president-elect noted that Osinbajo had partnered very well with Buhari to deliver on the progressive programmes of the party to make life better for Nigerians especially in areas of massive infrastructural development and life-changing Social Investment Programmes.
Also, Gbajabiamila rejoiced with Osinbajo on his 66th birthday.
Gbajabiamila, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, lauded the VP’s commitment to Nigeria.
He described Osinbajo as a blessing not just to his family, but also to humanity, owing to his selfless service to Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila noted that Osinbajo has paid his dues and served the country diligently even before becoming the vice president.
He prayed for more fruitful years in good health for the Vice President.
Meanwhile, after his morning devotion service, the VP with his wife, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo proceeded to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport where he was ambushed by aides and associates and members of the choir who serenaded him with singing and joyous celebrations as he came out of the car.
“I am hardly ever taken by surprise, but now really I’m surprised, thank you all so much,” a statement yesterday quoted Osinbajo to have said as he was led to cut the cake already set up in the lobby of the Presidential Wing of the airport.
From there he then proceeded to Borno State where the Learning Centre, an educational charity he envisioned in 2016, is based. He had led the efforts that produced the North East Children’s Trust and the Learning Centre then.
The North East Children’s Trust is a private sector-led charity and social engineering initiative incorporated in 2017 with a mission to create innovative, transformational sustainable learning ecosystems that will nurture, renew and empower vulnerable children between ages five and 18 years who have become orphans as a result of the insurgency in the north-east Nigeria.
It has provided comprehensive support to 686 orphaned and vulnerable children through accommodation, feeding, quality education and rehabilitative psychosocial support.
“On arrival at the Nigeria Air Force Base, Maiduguri, the VP was received by Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, who was accompanied by his wife, Hajiya Falmata, and other top government officials. He then proceeded to the NECT Learning Centre where children of the institution had a lineup of activities to mark the day for the man they now call ‘Daddy,” the statement added.
“The children treated the VP, his wife, members of the NECT Board and other State government officials, to entertaining and humorous sporting games (novelty football matches, sack and egg races) and rendition of a special birthday song for the celebrant. The VP flanked by other guests at the event also cut a special cake presented to him by the school,” it stated further.
Speaking afterwards, Osinbajo reassured the staff and children of the institution of his commitment to keep providing world class facilities that would make them the best among their peers, regardless of the prevailing socioeconomic conditions.
“All of you children who are here, one thing that is very certain is that, God giving me good health and preserving my life, I will ensure that you get the very best. However, it is, we will do everything possible to make sure that you get the very best, because that is the promise and pledge that we made when we started,” the vice president noted.
Speaking further about the school and the children, Osinbajo said, “My wife and I consider the children of this school our own children; we want to give them the kind of education that our own children have had, which is why everything that is being done here is done to the best standards available anywhere in the world.
“If you look at the quality of staff here, quality of equipment and facilities, they are among the best in the world and we keep trying to ensure that our teachers have the best exposure that is possible anywhere in the world. And as we go along, you will see that it can only get better.
“So, for me, this school is a very personal thing indeed. I pray and I hope that we will be able to do more and more for these children and for many others as they pass through this school.” Continuing, he said, “what we intend to do in this school as the years go by is to ensure that this school is a model for the world. I was so excited to hear that a number of our children have gone to secondary school and a couple into the university, and I believe one or two will be graduates this year or next.
“We are going to make sure that our kids get the best education that you can find anywhere in the world. I am looking forward to when children from here will compete and beat children from Harvard and other places around the world.”
In his remarks, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno, who was represented at the school by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Jidda, thanked the vice president for his unwavering commitment to the education and plight of the vulnerable, noting that the establishment of the school is further testament to his kindheartedness and concern for the downtrodden in the society.
In the same vein, the Commissioner of Education, Engr Abba Wakilbe, thanked the VP for the establishment of the school and constant monitoring of its progress, noting that “the good people of Borno State will always remember Prof. Osinbajo as the first person who responded to the plight of the over 56,000 children orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency by catering for their educational needs.”
“I once told you that children from this institution enrolled in various Government Secondary Schools are called “Osinbajo”. That on its own is a clear testimony to your impact in their lives.
“Your Excellency, you will be remembered as a true Nationalist who crossed from the Atlantic to the Sahel to respond to the cries and suffering of children. I pray that the almighty God will make your end as successful as he has made your life,” the Commissioner added.