From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari expressed gratitude for the many cards and well wishes he received in honor of his 80th birthday.
He also joked that the State House staff had ignored his request for a quiet day and that he had planned his return flight from America on that day to escape the celebration.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari said this on Monday, while addressing the Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and a handful of other personal staff who gathered at the Residence on Monday morning “to make the President’s birthday an occasion to remember,” President Buhari said a birthday is no more than just another day in the office.
In a fitting tribute on behalf of the personal staff, the Chief read aloud the card signed by them which states thus:
“On behalf of the entire staff of the personal staff and my own self, we say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a worthy leader, father of the nation and our own father.
“Your Excellency was a star at the recently-concluded American-African Leaders Summit- recognition by your own peers and the leader of the international community.
“We are proud of Your Excellency and grateful for the opportunity to serve Your Excellency with respect and abiding loyalty.”
President Buhari waded across the room, reading one card after the other and thereafter ordered everyone back to office: “Back to Work,” he said, as he led the way to his office building.
The President participated in meetings and other duties throughout the working hours in the office.