President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have spoken glowingly of the former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, as he clocked 70.
The duo felicitated with the former governor on the occasion of the Abiola Ajimobi Round Table on Monday in Ibadan.
The theme of the Round Table was “Managing the Dynamics of Nigeria’s Advancement–the Socio-Economic Perspectives”.
The president, who was not physically present at the occasion, however, sent a congratulatory message to the occasion:
The message stated: “I received with pleasure your letter informing me of your 70th birthday; I am happy to celebrate with you as you attain the prime age of 70.
“I join you in thanking Almighty Allah for giving you the opportunity to attain 70 years.
“Your contribution to the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Senator and good governance in Oyo State being the first to govern the state for two terms are all part of your records.
“As you celebrate, I join your family, friends, well-wishers and the entire people of Oyo State to wish you continued good health and many more years.”
Osinbajo, in his speech, said that the conversation on managing the dynamics of Nigeria’s advancement was an important one.
According to him, the two key issues are encouraging local and foreign investment and eradicating poverty.
He said that Nigeria was behind in the race against poverty because there was no systematic and focused approach.
The vice president said that the Social Investment Programmes were written into All Progressives Congress(APC)’s constitution.
“And we set it up as the first phase of our efforts to tackle poverty.
“India dropped its absolute number of the extremely poor by the same programmatic approach, but the programmes took two decades.
“The second point is on encouraging entrepreneurship, infrastructure development, lower taxes and enabling environment.
“To my dear, Egbon, I must say that your sense of humour, youthfulness, and sheer energy, make it difficult to believe that you are actually 70.
“We thank God for the unique and indelible landmarks he has enabled you to achieve especially in politics and governance in the past eight years in Oyo State.
“Importantly also, your exemplary fidelity to the party, its success, its leadership and to your associates and colleagues at all times has set a standard for us all.
“I am especially deeply grateful to you for giving me the benefit of your wisdom, counsel, and deep experience at various times
“We pray that God satisfies you with a very long, healthy, prosperous and joyful life,” he said.
The Round Table Lead Paper Presenter, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, regretted the rising poverty rate in Nigeria in spite of several interventions toward poverty eradication.
He said there was a need to come up with policies that would create jobs.
Ajimobi, in a vote of thanks, expressed immense appreciation to all those who graced the occasion.
He said he was overwhelmed by the calibre and level of turnout for the celebration.
The former governor said his heart was full of gratitude to God for his grace upon him.
The event attracted traditional rulers and members of the political class.