President leads torrents of encomiums for president-elect at 71 •Prayers to hold in Lagos
President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu is in the best position to perform creditably after taking office on May 29, President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday.
According to him, Tinubu’s experience in the private and public sectors and his knowledge of politics and the economy have also put him on a good pedestal to discharge the duties of the presidential office.
The president stated this in a statement to mark Tinubu’s 71st birthday, which holds today.
“As the President-elect prepares to take over mantle of leadership at 71, the President affirms that his political pedigree from the 90’s, active role in party politics, being elected Senator and later Governor of Lagos State, and diligent involvement in structure of leadership at the Executive and Legislative levels for many years, will serve as asset for good and effective governance”, the statement by Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said.
President Buhari’s message is supported by torrents of encomiums that poured in for Tinubu on his birthday.
Among those who sent tributes are Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, governors, lawmakers and other eminent Nigerians.
They all extolled Tinubu’s virtues and highlighted his contributions to nation-building and good governance.
The president-elect is currently abroad.
Christian and Muslim prayers will be held to mark the day at the Chapel of Christ The Light and the Alausa Central Mosque.
The statement reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as he clocks 71, March 29, 2023, with history beckoning to lead the country from May 29th.
“The President joins members of the President-elect’s family, especially his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, business partners and political associates in celebrating the remarkable age, heralded with many years of experience and achievements in the private and public sectors, which prepared him for the historic win on February 25, 2023.
“President Buhari believes Asiwaju’s warmth, friendliness and generosity has set the pace for a network of friends, home and abroad, that will shape his presidency with requisite expertise to guide the economy, and consolidate on the investments of past leaders, particularly in people-first development and infrastructure.
“President Buhari prays for the wellbeing of Asiwaju and his family.”
Lawan: He’s an exceptional leader
Lawan, according to a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi, in Abuja, described Tinubu as an exceptional political leader.
The Senate President described Tinubu as “an exceptional political leader who has impacted his time and space with great ideas, exemplary courage of conviction and astonishing capacity for purposeful leadership.
“The benevolence of Allah has strengthened these qualities in him and taken him to the threshold of historic greatness as he prepares to assume the leadership of our great country from May 29, 2023, In sha Allah.
“Asiwaju’s impending inauguration as the next President of Nigeria is not by happenstance. It is the result of sheer doggedness, hard work and consistency in the pursuit of beliefs and set goals.
“Asiwaju Tinubu is not just a quintessential politician but also a philanthropist who has impacted many lives in no small measures.
“Asiwaju’s recent clarion call to Nigerians, after his well-deserved victory at the polls, for healing and reconciliation, exemplifies his magnanimity of spirit, love for peace and an unbending belief that every Nigerian, no matter their political persuasion, has a role to play for the unity and progress of Nigeria.
“I pray Allah to imbue him with wisdom to take our dear nation to a greater height.
“Here is wishing the Jagaban Borgu a happy birthday and many more years in fine fettle and happiness”
A dogged fighter for a just society, says Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila described Tinubu as a dogged fighter for a just society and a man of the people.
Gbajabiamila said the President-elect has demonstrated democratic credentials over the years and ought to be celebrated by well-meaning Nigerians.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said it was heart warning that Tinubu has finally fulfilled his ambition of becoming Nigeria’s president, saying his victory at the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25 was a well-deserved birthday gift.
He said Tinubu’s emergence as president-elect was against all odds, noting that God Almighty indeed, favoured and granted him victory.
Gbajabiamila said as one of those who have been under Tinubu’s school of politics and mentoring, he was not surprised that the president-elect remained focused and unwavering throughout the presidential contest.
He said: “I celebrate our president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on his 71st birthday. Tinubu has proved over the years to be an uncommon democrat who always works assiduously for Nigeria to be great.
“We all thank God for the life of the president-elect, and we pray that He continues to grant him good health to achieve his desire for a better Nigeria.
“The story of Asiwaju is one that every Nigerian, young and old, should study carefully and learn from. Here is a man that worked against all odds to emerge as the presidential candidate of the APC. Even more daunting was his emergence as President-elect elect.
“Trust Asiwaju, he weathered the storm and scaled through all the hurdles to emerge victorious. That is the kind of man Nigeria is lucky to have at this time. For those of us that have known Asiwaju for decades, we are sure he would not disappoint Nigeria and Nigerians.”
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase, said Tinubu will improve the nation’s economy, create jobs, improve security, education, reform governance and fight corruption.
In his birthday message, he said: “I join other well-meaning Nigerians and millions of people across the globe to congratulate our national leader and President-Elect, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Jagaban) on his 71st birthday anniversary.
“I pray to the Almighty Allah (SWT) to grant you many more healthy years ahead as you prepare to assume the exalted office of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces.”
Wase described Tinubu as a selfless and patriotic leader who has fought tirelessly to instill good governance and sustain democracy in the country.
He enjoined Nigerians irrespective of religious inclination and party affiliation to pray for the president-elect and support his government to move the nation forward.
Orji Kalu hails advocate of democracy
Senate Chief Whip, Orji Kalu, described Tinubu as a selfless, genuine and positive-minded statesman with passion for growth, progress and development of Nigeria.
The former Abia governor said the President-elect is a firm advocate of democracy, whose antecedents in the struggle for democratic process in Nigeria and beyond were highly commendable and worthy of emulation.
He applauded Tinubu’s strides in the enthronement and sustenance of democracy and good governance at all levels.
He said: “As a well-respected public servant, Tinubu has consistently earned the goodwill of the people, regardless of party affiliation in view of his accomplishments in various leadership positions.
“Tinubu’s victory in the just concluded presidential election is indeed another testament to his popularity among Nigerians.
“As the president-elect is preparing to assume office on May 29, I enjoin Nigerians at home and abroad to sustain their support for him in a bid to build a united and indivisible country.”
He’s an ‘enigmatic master strategist’, says Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, described Tinubu as a “enigmatic master strategist whose democratic credentials are scholarly materials for study in political economy.”
The governor added that Tinubu’s emergence as president-elect is a reward for his hard work and contributions to the country.
He said: “At 71, Asiwaju has attained the age, that what matters most is the legacy to bequeath to people after him and God has blessed him with a great opportunity to take the mantle of leadership of Nigeria, and chart the right path of progress for the people of Nigeria.
“Asiwaju Tinubu has donated the greater part of his adult life for service to humanity, Lagos State and Nigeria. His many contributions to democracy and good governance have helped the political and democratic trajectory of Nigeria since 1999.
“It is also on record that he stood firmly on the side of the Nigerian people, even at the risk of losing his life and personal belongings during the dark days of the military junta.
“He fought tirelessly with other progressives and pro-democracy activists during the annulment of the June 12 struggle to end the military interregnum and enthroned democracy, which we all enjoy today.”
Sanwo-Olu added that Nigeria is blessed to have Tinubu as her next president, who has donated the greater part of his life in service.
He added: “In the political history of Nigeria, Asiwaju will forever be a reference point. He has made and redefined the socio-political history of Nigeria by contributing his quota to the survival of democracy and uninterrupted civilian administration in Nigeria for 24 years.
“His emergence as President-elect is a reward for his hard work and contributions to the country based on his political astuteness, courage, and sagacity.
“As he is celebrating 71st birthday, we wish him all the love and care in the world and pray that God will give him wisdom, knowledge, sound health and good things that he will use to steer the ship of the country and navigate Nigeria’s development to the desired place as he becomes Nigeria’s President from May 29, 2023.
“On behalf of my darling wife, Ibijoke, and the good people of Lagos State, as well as leaders and members of the APC, I wish the nation’s President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, happy 71st birthday.”
A member of the Governing Board of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Prince Kunle Oyewumi, described the president-elect as a rare gem, who is passionate about the growth and development of Nigeria, urging the political class to emulate his outstanding and exemplary leadership qualities.
In a goodwill message, Oyewumi urged Nigerians to sustain their support for the President-elect in a bid to reposition the country.
He said: “I join other Nigerians across the globe in celebrating the President-elect of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as he clocks 71.
“Asiwaju Tinubu is a leader who is genuinely committed to the growth and progress of Nigeria.
“Judging from his remarkable and unbeatable accomplishments in the private and public sectors, there is no doubt that Nigeria will be prosperous under his watch.
“The President-elect remains a rallying point and pillar of support to his contemporaries and the younger generation.”
In his tribute, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Abiodun James Faleke, described Tinubu as an icon of democracy.
The Secretary of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (APC PCC), said: “The occasion has created another opportunity to identify with a tested, trusted and selfless leader of leaders.”
He said Nigeria will be launched to loftier heights under Tinubu’s watch.
The Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources to Lagos State Governor, Joe Igbokwe, also spoke glowingly of the celebrator.
“He is rare gift to his generation and unborn generations. Asiwaju is man with a mission, a builder of men and manager of resources.
“The president-elect is a selfless and detribalised leader, who derives his leadership from followership”, Igbokwe said.