Birthday: Tinubu calls for prayers, thanksgiving

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The President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, has directed that special prayers and thanksgiving service be held on March 29, instead of the yearly colloquium to mark his 71st birthday.

Tinubu made this known in a statement by his media spokesperson, Mr Tunde Rahman, on Monday in Lagos.

The President-elect said the date, which fell within the holy month of Ramadan, should be dedicated to prayers and seeking God’s guidance for him and the country as he prepare to take the reins of leadership.

He said special prayers would be held in Lagos and in other parts of the country.

According to him, the main event will  be held in Lagos with special prayers offered at the Central Mosque in each of the five divisions in the state,  including the Central Mosque, Alausa, Ikeja.

“During the prayer sessions, special prayers will be offered for peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.

“Also to receive prayers among others are President Muhammadu Buhari and First Lady Aisha Buhari, President-elect Tinubu and his wife, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, Vice President-elect Sen. Kashim Shettima and Hajia Nana Shettima.

“Others are Gov. Babajide Sanwo-olu, other State Governors as well as members of National and State Houses of Assembly,” Rahman said.

He said that the prayer sessions at Alausa Central Mosque would begin at 10:00 a.m and would include delivery of sermons and reading from the Holy Quran.

“This year will be the third in recent times the birthday colloquium will not hold in deference to developments in the country.

“In 2020, the 12th edition of the colloquium marking Asiwaju’s 68th birthday was put off to empathise with those who lost their lives or affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2022, the birthday symposium was also called off by Tinubu right at the venue of the event when news emerged of the terror attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train in which several persons died and many others abducted.

“The Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos venue was already filled to capacity with dignitaries to celebrate the birthday when he took to the podium to announce the cancellation of the event.

“The former Governor of Lagos had said it would not be proper for him as a statesman to be celebrating when such a tragedy had befallen the nation.

“For me to be here celebrating, dancing and enjoying myself, does not speak well of me as a senior citizen of this country.

“He asked that the cleric should rather engage in prayers,” Rahman said.