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Happy birthday, Mr. President!

Dateline: Abeokuta-It was expectedly a roll call of who's whos in Nigeria at the 79th Birthday celebration of perhaps the greatest Nigerian alive, President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.

Politicians of every persuasion, traditional rulers, captains of industry and religious leaders stormed the Auditorium of Obasanjo's Presidential Library to accord him reverence and felicitations.

Encomiums, prayers and good wishes were poured on him like early morning rains but Rotimi Amaechi's killed it. The loquacious former Governor and Minister for Transport, who started out by saying he wouldn't talk about an elder in line with custom and tradition, however, told Baba what people are saying about him:

One, Baba is not a Yorubaman, but a Nigerian, a true Nigerian, considering his antecedents and record of working and sustained close relationships with people from across the country.

Two, Baba loves Nigeria and places the peace and unity of Nigeria above himself and anybody else, as a true patriot.

Three, almost every Nigerian agrees that Baba is very ugly.

I, like most of the people in the jam-packed auditorium, agree with Rotimi Amaechi's three-pronged assertions especially the third. Even OBJ himself agreed and took some time during his response to shed some extra light on the facts behind his ugliness.

According to him, he's been reliably informed that God created him on a Saturday, just before he finalized creation activities and spent most of the time on his brains. However, just before the time elapsed, God realized he hadn't done much on his body so he hurriedly put something together and straight into the oven and almost forgot it there and it was partly burnt. This, Baba said, accounted for his very dark complexion and remarkable ugliness.

No man is perfect. Even God created man and almost regretted it as mistake. So, even with all his human imperfections, OBJ, former Military Head of State, two-term President, a symbol of Nigerian unity, a pathfinder in Nigeria's evolving democracy, an indefatigable man of immense courage and sagacity, a brilliant writer and bridge-builder, my friend and mentor, deserves the very best of God's blessings.

I pray for his continued health of mind and body and many happy returns. If he's truly 79, then next year, we will celebrate 80, celebrate 90 and even 100, if God grants him the strength.

Happy birthday, my President.

Happy birthday, Mr. President! Happy birthday, Mr. President! Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Saturday, March 05, 2016 Rating: 5


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