A BENIN high chief, David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin Kingdom on Saturday marked his 90th birthday, which according to him was the first time he was marking his birthday.
The event was attended by National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe, Speaker Francis Okiye amongst others.
President Muhammadu Buhari in his goodwill message to the Esogban by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, joined members of Edebiri family, friends and well-wishes in celebrating an important and respected son of Bini Kingdom’s rich culture and heritage.
The President affirmed that many generations of Nigerians have a deep appreciation of Chief Edebiri’s devotion to Nigeria’s unity and prosperity over the years, beginning from his days of activism in the pre-independence period till now that he conscientiously aligns with the vision of this administration to take Nigeria to the Next Level.
According to Shehu, “President Buhari values the goodwill and fatherly advice of the nonagenarian to this government even as he prays almighty God to grant the Esogban of Benin longer life in health and happiness.”
Tinubu stated that they know what Chief Edebiri means to them as a political family, adding that one does not retire from politics because it is in the blood and DNA.
He observed, “Few minutes ago, we were told you are no longer in politics. I said no it is impossible. Politics must be in the blood. It is in the DNA. Chief Edebiri is still the leader of many of us.
“We thank God for your meritorious life and service to humanity. You are a man who is honest and dependable. You have nothing to do with deceit, lies and misadventure. When you say go ahead and we look back, you are always there. You are a leader with integrity and you have carried yourself with honour.”
Tinubu said Oshiomhole brought transformation to the state.
Oshiomhole in his speech praised Edebiri for adopting him as a son and supporting his emergence as governor.
The former Edo Governor said he would use any available opportunity to empower people from Benin Kingdom.
He recalled how Chief Edebiri helped solved problems within the APC.
Also, Yakassai said Chief Edebiri was among the few statesmen alive who fought for Nigeria’s independence.
He said the next struggle after gaining political independence is to get economic independence. Yakassai said Nigeria has the largest market in Africa and the struggle is to make the market benefit Nigerians.
He said they would continue to fight for the unity of the country, “We should struggle to make sure the market serve the interests only of our people. We will continue until victory is achieved.”
In his response to the torrents of tributes, Chief Edebiri said it was the first time he was celebrating birthday since he was born.
He said Oshiomhole did not disappoint him as a governor.
Chief Edebiri released 90 pigeons to mark the birthday.