Chief Bisi Akande, first acting Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), turned 80 on Wednesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari, has joined all members of APC and Nigerians in greeting Akande.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr Femi Adesina, said in Abuja on Tuesday, that President Buhari congratulated Akande, his family and friends for his laudable achievements over the years.
The president noted that Akande’s achievements had thrown him into the limelight at an early age, particularly highlighting his sacrifices in public service at both state and national levels.
Buhari affirmed that the former governor’s pivotal and visionary leadership as the first interim chairman of the APC, prepared the party for history in 2015, which saw it unseating an incumbent president for the first time in an election in Nigeria.
He, therefore, extolled Akande’s loyalty and faithfulness to the party and the cause of building a strong and unified nation.
According to him, Akande consistently challenges governments and leaders to higher ideals, and reminds them to think out of the box in meeting the needs of the poor and vulnerable.
The President believed that the octogenarian’s good-nature, large heart and broad outlook on issues had impacted positively on party politics and democracy in Nigeria.
He prayed that almighty God would grant Chief Akande longer life, strength and wisdom to serve more.
The Leader of APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has also hailed Akande.
Congratulating Akande in a tweet, Tinubu said: “the party might not have recorded quick success without its former Interim Chairman”.
Akande, a former governor of Osun State from 1999–2003, was born in Ila Orangun on 16 January 1939.
The progressive politician was a staunch member of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), a party that revolved around the political leadership of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
As one of the founder of the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Akande continued to preach progressive ideals, good governance and champion citizens’ welfare and rule of law.