The president who clocked 75 yesterday, thanked Nigerians for their concern and fervent prayers.
Though he did not organise any birthday celebration, his aides presented him with a birthday card at his resident in the Presidential Villa.
The planned parade to be mounted by the Brigade of Guards as part of activities to mark president’s birthday was cancelled.
The Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and the Permanent Secretary State House, Jalal Arabia led the presidential aides to present a giant birthday card to him.
The card designed in green and white colours, had the president’s photograph with the inscription boldly written, “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” embossed on its cover.
After Kyari presented the card that had earlier been signed by all of them, the president took group photographs with them while they sang birthday songs.
Those who joined Kyari included Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi; State Chief of Protocol, Abdullahi Kazaure; Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina; Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu; Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs, Abba Sarki; Personal Assistant to the President, Tunde Sabiu; President’s Personal Photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo and the president’s security aides.
Also present to wish President Buhari happy birthday were Service Chiefs led by Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin. Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, I.E. Ibas and the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, accompanied the CDS.
Recall that President Buhari returned to the country on August 19 after spending over 100 days in London on medical vacation.
He had also returned to London after attending the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 72), in September.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State have congratulated Buhari.
Saraki in a tweet in his twitter handle, @bukolasaraki, prayed for wisdom and grace for the president.
“Happy Birthday Mr. President! I wish you the blessings of the Almighty, and continued wisdom and grace as you celebrate another year,” the tweet read.
Also, Obaseki described Buhari’s leadership style as exemplary.
Commending his dedication to the cause of the common man, the governor said: “As you mark this day, we are inspired by your exemplary leadership, dedication to the course of the common man and relentless commitment to restoring the country’s greatness.”
He further said the perception of Nigeria by the international community is fast changing for the better, as many countries now believe that our problems as a country are not beyond us.
On his part, Okowa in a statement issued in Asaba by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, eulogised the Nigerian leader for his patriotic and unrelenting service to the country.
He said: “On the occasion of your 75th birthday anniversary on December 17, 2017, I write to heartily rejoice with you and your family on behalf of the government and people of Delta State,” Okowa said.
Tambuwal in a message issued by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, said Buhari has paid his dues in the Nigerian polity, and prayed to God to continue to bless the life of the President.
“Attaining 75 years in life calls for thanks giving and expression of gratitude to God. I am glad the Almighty Allah has blessed our president with long life and good health.
“No doubt, the president has proven himself to be a leader of high ethics and morality. We in Sokoto State join all Nigerians in wishing the president a happy birthday,” Tambuwal said
In the same vein, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has commended Nigerians for their wise decision to elect Buhari president in 2015, while stating that landslide victory awaits him in 2019.
He described the president as the man God had used to save the country from collapse, saying “because at the time Buhari became president, the country was at the verge of being grounded unknown to some people.”
He also commended Nigerians who voted in 2015 to make Buhari president and concluded that the president has done well to justify the mandate given to him by Nigerians, explaining that God will continue to keep President Buhari alive because He wants him (Buhari) to finish the good works he is doing for Nigeria’s greatness.
In his message, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State described Buhari as a man of uncommon credibility and integrity who undoubtedly came to rescue Nigeria from the brink of collapse and hopelessness.
A statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Musa Elayo, quoted Al-Makura as commending the president for his effort and commitment to carry out the much needed cleansing of the country of corruption and other social vices.
Al-Makura said: “The achievements recorded so far by the President are clear indications of his vision for a better Nigeria and therefore Nigerians should be patient with him. Though the road is rough and turbulent, the journey to prosperity and greatness that will ensure.