low key with members of the Presidential Guards Brigade holding special
parade for him.
The brief ceremony was held at the fore court of the Presidential
Villa , Abuja. The president cut his birthday cake and released 74
pigeons at the occasion.
He also signed the birthday register and penned his thoughts : “Impressed, efficient drill”.
Three ministers, service chiefs and other top government officials graced the occasion.
Those in attendance included the Minister of Information, Lai
Mohammed, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali and Minister of Federal
Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, and the Secretary to the
Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal.
The presidential aides at the birthday parade included the Chief of
Staff, Abba Kyari; Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina;
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Senior
Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Diaspora, Abike Dabiri, and the
Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal Arabi.
The presidential aides presented Buhari with a giant birthday card
that has the seal of the president and his portrait on the cover at the
end of the parade.
The inscription, ‘Happy Birthday’ was boldly written on the card. The
Minister of Information also presented his own birthday card to the
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the parade,
the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonishakin, said: “We are
celebrating the birthday of the President and we wish him well and good
“We wish him all the goodness of God as he pilots the affairs of our nation to greater heights,” he said.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said: “He is a
great man and we are very pleased with his accomplishments over the
years. He is a good leader.”
At the end of the ceremony, Buhari left the Villa for Transcorp
Hilton to meet leaders of Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) towards prevailing on the Gambia’s President, Yahya Jammeh, to
hand over power to the president-elect.