By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated elder statesman and founding Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Abdukareem Adebisi Akande, as he turns 78 years on Jan. 16.
This congratulatory message is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president.
Adesina said Buhari joined all members of the APC, friends and immediate family of the eminent leader in celebrating the birthday of Akande.
The president noted with delight that Akande was one of the pillars of the opposition party that had successfully ensured a round victory and smooth transition to unseat an incumbent president in 2015.
According to him, Akande’s wisdom, sacrifices, patriotism and commitment to the unity and development of Nigeria will always be remembered by posterity.
Buhari affirmed that Akande’s present role in the APC as a strong, visionary leader, a reconciling voice, strategist and stabiliser had paid up substantially in the enormous challenge of healing the ruling party, and the country.
The president extolled the passionate and relentless efforts of the statesman in ensuring the entrenchment democracy in Nigeria, and sustenance of the rule of law.
He prayed that the almighty God would grant “Chief Akande longer life, more strength and wisdom to continue serving the country he loves, and humanity’’.
Akande was former governor of Osun between 1999 and 2003, and had meritoriously served as deputy governor of old Oyo State from 1979 to 1983.