President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday hailed Nobel laureate and elder statesman, Professor Wole Soyinka, on his 89th birthday, describing him as a brother and comrade-in-democratic struggle.
Tinubu also called Soyinka a veritable source of support, inspiration and encouragement, recalling in particular, his struggle for the restoration and entrenchment of democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
The President’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Mr Dele Alake, Ac a statement also celebrated the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Folu Adeboye, for her Christian virtues, devotion to her highly-respected husband, the church, and family values on her 75th birthday.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also congratulated the literary giant, Soyinka, on the occasion of his 89th birthday.
Tinubu, while commending Soyinka for his immense contributions to the country’s development, said:
“Today, I celebrate Nobel laureate, elder statesman and pro-democracy activist, Professor Wole Soyinka, on his attainment of 89.
“Renowned playwright, poet, novelist, Professor Wole Soyinka has done a lot for Nigeria. In the literary world, he remains a giant, an Iroko. Importantly, his contributions to the struggle for the restoration and institutionalisation of democracy and good governance in Nigeria are indelible.
“Together, along with other activists, we fought for democracy under the aegis of NADECO at great risk to our personal lives.
“Professor Soyinka remains a beacon and a source of inspiration and support to many of us.
“As he attains 89 today, we pray that God Almighty grant him more years and strength so he can be around to witness the new Nigeria we are building in line with our Agenda for a Renewed Hope for the country, where security, prosperity and economic development will reign supreme.”
In another statement by Alake, Tinubu congratulated Mrs. Adeboye, for her evangelical work with children, young people, and the downtrodden, Tinubu noted with admiration many of the outreach programmes of the RCCG targeted at rehabilitating drug addicts and the poor, spearheaded by the celebrant.
The president stated, “I celebrate this Godly woman, Pastor Folu Adeboye, on the occasion of her 75th birthday. We are inspired by her devotion to the work of God, family values, and the downtrodden among us. Mrs. Adeboye’s generosity of spirit and unflinching commitment to seeing that young people live value-guided life will continue to be a guide and beacon to many.
“Through her many philanthropic works and that of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, many lives have been turned around for good. I join family, friends and admirers all over the world to wish Pastor Folu many more years in good health and more service in the vineyard.”
Sanwo-Olu, in his own congratulatory message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, described Soyinka as “a quintessential scholar and literary icon, who has used his position and experience to contribute positively to literature, academics and governance globally.”
The governor said Soyinka was worth celebrating as one of Nigeria’s advocates of good governance, adding that the Nobel laureate remains one of Nigeria’s biggest exports to the world.
Sanwo-Olu was not left out as he also sent his message also.
“On behalf of my family, the government and the people of Lagos State, I congratulate our literary icon and Nobel Laureate, Professor Oluwole Soyinka, on his 89th birthday anniversary.
“Professor Soyinka as a literary icon excels in all the genres of literature and his prodigious works have continued to be a reference point in academic circles all over the world. His long years of outstanding accomplishments and consistency in the crusade for the wellbeing of citizens had culminated in his legendary status. He is a great pride to Nigeria, Africa and the entire black race.
“He is a renowned advocate of truth, justice and equity, who always align with the populace in the clamour for good governance across the nation and globally. He has demonstrated this on many occasions by lending his voice on national and global issues in favour of the masses.
“As Professor Soyinka clocks 89, I wish him good health and more years of meritorious service to our dear country, Nigeria, the African continent and the world,” he said.