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17 Dec 2017

Buhari @ 75: President Rejects Military Parade, His Celebration Choice is Weird

President Muhammadu Buhari will be marking his 75th birthday on Sunday (today) without any fanfare.
President Muhammadu Buhari will be marking his 75th birthday on Sunday (today) without any fanfare, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

Our correspondent learnt on Saturday that the President had cancelled the usual military parade by the Presidential Guards Brigade.

It was learnt that while the birthday could be described as a landmark, it was the wish of the President to mark it with his close family members only.

A government official however said that notwithstanding the President’s wish, some of his close aides and top government officials would still find a way of “honouring and appreciating him on his birthday.”

“It is true that the President wants to mark his birthday as quietly as possible but he still has to accommodate us. He is our leader and it is just appropriate that we should be allowed to show him a token of our love on that day,” he said.

When contacted on the telephone on Saturday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the celebration would be strictly, a family affair.

Shehu said, “I think the President does not want anybody bothered on the matter. That is why he waved the usual parade that we have witnessed in the past.

“He prefers to spend his time with family members and close relatives. The ceremonies you have seen in the past, especially the parade aspect has been cancelled.

“This is his idea; he doesn’t want to bother people.

“You also know that the day is a Sunday, a day to worship God in churches. So people can go and worship their God.”

When asked what Buhari’s birthday wish is and the kind of birthday gift he wants from Nigerians, Shehu said he had no such information.

“I have no such information. As I speak with you now, he (Buhari) is in a closed session with his co-ECOWAS leaders.” Shehu said.

Buhari was born on December 17, 1942, in Daura, present-day Katsina State.

He is the 23rd child of his father.

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