President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed that special prayers and thanksgiving service be held on Wednesday 29 March instead of the yearly birthday colloquium, to mark his 71st birthday
The special prayers will be held in Lagos and other parts of the country, according to a statement by Tinubu’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman on Monday.
The statement indicated that for the main event in Lagos, special prayers will be offered at the Central Mosque in each of the five divisions in the state including the Central Mosque, Alausa, Ikeja.
During the prayer sessions, special prayers will be offered for the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.
The statement also said President Muhammadu Buhari and his wife, Aisha; Tinubu and his wife, Oluremi; Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima and his wife Nana; Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; and other state governors as well as members of National and State Houses of Assembly will be among those who will receive the prayers.
According to an announcement by the organisers of the prayer sessions issued by Akeem Kosoko, an Imam, the session at Alausa Central Mosque will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday and will include the delivery of sermons and reading from the Holy Quran.
This year will be the third in recent times the birthday colloquium will not hold in deference to developments in the country.
In 2020, the 12th edition of the colloquium marking Tinubu’s 68th birthday was put off to empathise with those who lost their lives or were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
And last year, the birthday symposium was also called off by the President-elect at the venue of the event when news emerged of the terror attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train in which several persons died and others were abducted.
The Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos venue of the event, was already filled with dignitaries to celebrate the birthday when Tinubu took to the podium to announce the cancellation of the event.
The former governor of Lagos State had said at the time that it would not be proper for him as a statesman to be celebrating when such a tragedy had befallen the nation.
“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”, Tinubu had said on the occasion.
This year, the President-elect said the date, which falls within the holy month of Ramadan, should be dedicated to prayers and seeking God’s guidance for him and the country as he prepares to take the reins of leadership.
Tinubu was declared the winner of the 25th February presidential election. He defeated 17 other candidates, including Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.