Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and some state governors on Sunday joined President Muhammadu Buhari to cut his birthday cakes.
The President’s wife, Aisha, also joined them for the event that took place inside Buhari’s official residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, posted a short video clip of the event on her Facebook page with the caption “President Buhari, surrounded by his gorgeous wife, friends and some members of his political family as he cuts his 75th birthday celebration cake. Very many happy returns of the day, Sir. God bless Nigeria.”
Five giant cakes were seen on the table as the President was surrounded by his wife, Osinbajo, the governors and other top government officials.
The governors included Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) among others.
The Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha, was also present.
Osinbajo later on his Twitter handle, @ProfOsinbajo, on Sunday, described President Buhari as a dependable leader.
Osinbajo said Buhari’s commitment continued to serve as an example to him.
“To a dependable leader, your commitment to Nigeria continues to serve as an example to me and our nation, Happy Birthday, Boss!
Happy Birthday President Muhammadu Buhari!” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and his Kogi State counterpart, Bello, have described him as an exemplary leader.
Obaseki made his remark in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategies, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, in Benin on Sunday.
The governor said, “As you mark this day, we are inspired by your exemplary leadership, dedication to the cause of the common man and relentless commitment to restoring the country to greatness.”
He noted that Nigeria’s standing in the international community was fast changing for the better.
“We pray and wish you excellent health, divine grace, boundless fulfilment and happiness to celebrate many more years ahead,” Obaseki added.
The governor lauded the President’s achievement in the areas of security, corruption eradication and the revamping of the economy, saying they were geared toward “building of a better and stronger Nigeria.”
He prayed that the President’s birthday would usher Nigerians into another year of giant strides and glory to the admiration of all.
“Edo and her people wish you happy birthday, long life, prosperity and many more years of active service,” he added.
Similarly, Bello, in a congratulatory letter he personally signed, hailed Buhari for his steadfastness in creating a better and more respectable Nigeria.
Bello said, “President Buhari remains a shining light and an unbeatable example for transparency and accountability.
“I am learning a lot from President Muhammadu Buhari. He is an honest and transparent leader who is selfless, focused and dedicated to the greatness of our dear nation.
“On several occasions, Baba has continued to drive his ideals into us, which are anti-corruption and service to Nigeria. He defended Nigeria in a military uniform and he is defending the integrity of Nigeria now with his incorruptible nature and commitment to fighting corruption,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, led some presidential aides to present a giant birthday card to the President in his official residence at the Presidential Villa.
The green-and-white card has Buhari’s photograph and the inscription “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” embossed on it.
After Kyari presented the card signed by the aides, the President took photographs with them while they sang birthday songs.
Those who joined Kyari included the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi; 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.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who is a close ally of the President, also presented him with a green-white-green giant card.
“A leader for all seasons @75. President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR” was written boldly on the card’s cover alongside the President’s portrait.
The nation’s service chiefs also joined in the celebration. They included the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonishakin; Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ibas, and the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar.
Buhari’s grandchildren also joined to celebrate him.
One of them, a girl, presented him with a card with the inscription, “We love you granddad. Love from Baby See & Ayush.”
The usual military parade by men of the Presidential Guards Brigade that characterised Buhari’s two previous birthdays since he assumed office in 2015 however did not take place.