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The President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has directed that special prayers and thanksgiving service be held on Wednesday to mark his 71st birthday instead of the annual birthday colloquium.
A statement from his office on Monday issued by his media officer, Tunde Rahman, indicated that special prayers would be offered at the Central Mosque in each of the five divisions in Lagos State including the Central Mosque in Alausa area of Ikeja.
Rahman said that during the prayer sessions, special prayers will be offered for the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.
The statement noted that prayers would further be held for the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the First Lady, Aisha Buhari; Tinubu’s wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Vice President-elect, Senator Kashim Shettima and his spouse, Hajia Nana Shettima; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his counterparts in other states as well as members of the National and state Houses of Assemblies.
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“The session at Alausa Central Mosque will begin at 10am on Wednesday and will include delivery of sermons and reading from the Holy Quran,” the statement said.
This year will be the third in recent times that the birthday colloquium would not hold in deference to developments in the country.
In 2020, the 12th edition of the colloquium marking the president-elect 68th birthday was called off to empathise with those who lost their lives or affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, the birthday symposium was also called off by Tinubu right at the venue of the event, when news of the Abuja-Kaduna train terror attack in which several persons died and many others abducted, was reported.
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It was reported in 2022 that the Eko Hotel and Suites venue in Lagos was filled to the capacity with dignitaries when Tinubu took to the podium to announce the cancellation of the event.
According to him, it would not be proper as a statesman to be celebrating when such a tragedy befell the nation.
He stated, “For me to be here celebrating, dancing and enjoying myself, does not speak of me as a senior citizen of this country. I asked that the cleric should rather engage in prayers. This event should not be holding.”
In 2023, the president-elect urged his supporters not to bother planning any surprise package for his birthday, which falls within the holy month of Ramadan.
The former Lagos governor pleaded that they should dedicate it instead to prayers, seeking God’s guidance for him and the country as he prepares to take the reins of leadership.
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