Lagos Stands Still For Tinubu At 60, As Curtain Falls On A Week-Long Celebration

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Traffic came to a halt Thursday around parts of Surulere, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria as prominent Nigerians gathered at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, to felicitate with the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his 60th birthday anniversary celebration.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The roll call of dignitaries that graced the event incudes: representative of President Goodluck Jonathan in person of Elder Peter Godsday Orubebe, Minister for Niger Delta, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Ibikunle Amosun, Kayode Fayemi, Rauf Aregbesola, Adams Oshiomole, and their state excos, Femi Pedro, Sarah Sosan, senators, ministers, delegation from Ghana, politicians, traditional rulers, religious leaders, captains of industry, government officials among others.

There was also a display of colourful cultural event as men and women in traditional attires took turns to sing and dance in celebration.

Youths in T-shirts bearing the picture of the former governor of Lagos State equally thronged the venue of the end of the week-long celebration.

Speaking at the event, President Jonathan’s representative, Elder Erubebe, commended Tinubu for his exemplary leadership style and determination to serve humanity.

He said that God bestowed a gift on him, while some people who had similar gift had wasted, adding that the gift is leadership which he has discovered, understood, practised and succeeded with it Representative of the Vice President of Ghana, Daniel Kwasi Abodakpi, described Tinubu as a great Pan-Africanist and a true global citizen whose achievement and deeds precede him across the globe.

“You have proved to be a man of great fibre and timber who has dedicated his life to the development and progress of his fellow man across countries.

“As a great transformational leader of our times, you have not only pioneered the socio-economic transformation of Lagos State of Nigeria, but you proved that politics must not only be purposive but also devoid of corruption and corrupt practice for the economic, social and political life of the people.

“Your great attributes as a true humanist, your excellence knows no comparison, and cannot be contained within few paragaphs of a short tribute,” he said.

According to the representative of the Senate President, Senator Abu Ibrahim,”Tinubu’s fame has grown immensely and he towers prominently over Nigeria’s political landscape. He is and I have known him to be a talented politician, seasoned administrator, inspiring leader, bridge builder, reformist and a dogged fighter for the oppressed.

“Apart from being the major inspirer of the victory of the ACN in the April 2011 elections, Asiwaju is growing more and more in fame and influence today as a national leader and the main opposition figure in Nigeria.

“I hope that he will continue to rededicate himself to the fight for justice, rule of law, full restoration of democratic rights to all Nigerians and good governance and a free society,” he averred.

Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola said,” Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an enigma, a leader of leaders who bestrides the Nigerian political firmament like a colossus. Indeed, he is a colossus.

“His style of leadership as governor of Lagos State was unique. His most distinguished characteristic was that he had a knack for spotting talents. He specifically chose his cabinet members on merit. I for instance did not lobby him for appointment.

“One other trait that set him apart is how he handles crises. He never panics or buckles under. He is always calm, cool and collected. Crisis is tonic for Asiwaju. He is a natural crisis and disaster manager. It is when the situation gets abnormal that he is at his best,” he said.

According to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State,”how do you pay tribute to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu? The man who joined politics only in 1989 among the so-called ‘newbreed’ experiment of military president Ibrahim Babangida, yet by sheer force of character and strategic thinking, he has raked in unprecedented positive achievements making it appear he has been in politics for ages.

“For daring to challenge those who chose to rule us by the butt of the gun and jackboots, Asiwaju Tinubu was hounded into detention, driven into exile and slapped with treason by the federal authorities. Undaunted, he persevered and even in exile, became the rallying point for Nigerian exiles.

“He emerged from the bitter cold of exile and political persecution into the spring of democratic freedom and took the Nigerian political landscape by storm and the rest is now history,” said Fayemi.

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, commended Tinubu for redefining the political equation of Nigeria in the last one decade more than any other persona, adding that he has earned his stripes as the leading opposition figure in Nigeria today and one of the most influential political personages.

“Much as he has invested so much in the struggle for good governance, true fedralism and political pluralism, I’m convinced that we may not have seen the best yet from the Asiwaju of the universe,” he said.

Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said that Tinubu must be a luck man because Nigerians do no celebrate their heroes, adding that today from across the country, Nigerians are gathered to pay homage to a dodged fighter, grassroot mobiliser, bridge builder, hardworking thinker, genuine democrate, kind man and philanthropist of no mean repute, devoted family man and a loyal friend.

“Asiwaju Tinubu is the architect of what is now the New Lagos. He is the epitome of the positive change that true professionalism has brought into our nation’s politics. A mentor par excellence, he can identify talents from afar and nurture them to realise their full potentials. That is why I call him a leader of leaders,” he intoned.

Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State, said that Asiwaju is not without his faults, which he said were as legendary as they are real, adding that people like or loathe him with equal fervour and each have their strong reasons for doing so.

“Some have ascribed their misfortunes to him without asking what part they contributed to whatever fate has befallen them. I often decsribed Asiwaju as a man who has the ability to keep reinventing himself and about whom the last has not yet been heard. For me he is still a work in progress.’What next’, we might ask?

“To my leader, brother and mentor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I say congratulations on this diamond jubilee milestone. I wish you many more years of servant-leadership. May your mission be accomplished in your life time and may your legacies endure for many generations,” Fashola prayed.


In : Lagos

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