President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and political heavyweights across the political divide will on Saturday August 17 be among eminent personalities at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja, venue of the event to mark the 80th birthday anniversary of the immediate past National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
The weeklong activities lined up for the historic birthday celebration started last week Saturday with a golf tournament which took place in Benin, the Edo State capital to flag off the programme?a thanksgiving service and a State Reception to be held in his honours at the Edo State Government House.
The programme of activities released at the weekend by the chairman Local Organising Committee (LOC) for Oyegun’s 80th birthday celebration, Ray Morphy (Chief) revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari, state governors across party divide, National Assembly members, several party stalwarts, eminient Nigerians and members of the international communities have all indicated interest to attend the event.
“I can tell you on good authority that President Buhari will personally grace the event. The state governors across party divide have equally indicated interest to celebrate a quintessential politician like Oyegun.
“It is going to be the gathering of heavyweight political stalwarts, eminent Nigerians and members of the international communities.
Every arrangement has been made and I can assure you that Chief Oyegun is ready to be hosted.
“The programme of activities had started last week with a golf tournament in his honour which took place in Benin, Saturday, last weekend to flag off the celebration.
The State government will also host him to a reception on Monday after a thanksgiving ceremony in Benin. Chief Oyegun deserves every encomium showered on him for attaining that age,” Morphy noted.
Chief Oyegun had while recalling what he considered his deepest regret at clocking 80 years said: “Everybody has a regret perhaps there were one or two things one would have done differently. But I have every reason to give glory to God because he has been so good to me.”
“Look at how many careers I have had. In the civil service, I made good the opportunity, I was respected and you won’t believe I retired when I was less than 50 years.
“I ventured into business when I left civil service, became a fisherman and for two years, I became the chairman of Nigeria Trolley Owners Association. I ventured into politics and became the first governor of Edo state.
“I later became the deputy national chairman of the ANPP, national chairman of the APC where my efforts was blessed as the first chairman to oust a sitting government at federal level. More importantly, up till this 80 years, I have never spent one day in the hospital,” he noted.
In the same vein, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has described Odigie- Oyegun as a national leader and a committed true democrat.
Secondus, in a congratulatory letter he personally signed and addressed to Oyegun on his 80th birthday anniversary said the former APC chairman has proved himself a great leader who put Nigeria’s interest first in all he does.
“Your great and envious accomplishments in various sphere of endeavour in the last 80 years makes this celebration imperative and deserving.
“To the glory of God, you have over the years distinguished yourself as a foremost technocrat whose contributions to the socio political and economic development of our country remains clearly noticeable.
Secondus added that the rare quality of character displayed by Chief Oyegun in federal public service where he rose to the peak of his career as Permanent Secretary and later got elected by his people as Edo state Governor stands him out as an accomplished national figure.
The PDP chairman also noted the discipline he brought into governance which set him aside as an outstanding national leader with a lot of character to bequeath to younger generation.
“Also remarkable is the high moral principle you brought into political party management that aided you to lead your party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, from opposition to ruling party, all combined to distinguish you clearly as a committed democrat and a model for younger generation of political leaders.”
Secondus also noted the immense contributions of Oyegun to the stability and political growth of our country, particularly his mentorship roles in various areas that stands him out to merit all the accolades that come his way in times like this.
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