National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has appealed to his numerous admirers and supporters to stay safe.
This, he said, will be the best gift they can offer him for his 68th birthday.
In a message, he personally signed on Saturday evening, Tinubu said: “In the spirit of each of us caring for one another during this unprecedented moment, we must all be willing to do what ordinarily we would not do. What in normal times might be considered improper or ill-mannered is now an act of compassionate responsibility.
“This is particularly true when it comes to acts of social distancing and other precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
“In this vein, I would like to inform everyone that any gathering and any type of celebration associated with my birthday has been postponed for the time being.
“Given the challenge we now face, this is not the time for any form of public celebration or gathering to mark anyone’s birthday. Such a celebration would be inconsistent with the measures we must take to protect our loved ones and the public at large.
“Usually we all love to celebrate our birthdays with gatherings of family and friends where people mingle in close proximity. We cannot do this now. Hopefully I can speak not only for myself but for those who also have birthdays in the coming days,
“We enjoin our friends, associates and indeed everyone hoping to come and celebrate the day with me to please support government’s efforts to contain the virus.
“You do this by staying at home, by observing personal hygiene, and by taking all necessary steps to stay safe.
“At this moment, there is no better way to help me mark my birthday than for you to take every precaution to protect the health of our beloved people. That you remain healthy and alive will be the best gift you can give to me at this time.
“For now, this means staying at home. These are challenging times and we must all do all that we can to defeat COVID-19.
“To safeguard public health, we have already cancelled the annual colloquium held on my birthday at which ideas and solutions are proffered to emerging national issues. Consistent with the postponement of the colloquium, there will be no public celebration of my birthday at all.
“This is the moment to show our concern for one another not by gathering in celebration but by staying at home in good health and in contribution to public safety. Use the time to pray to God that this terrible thing pass quickly from us.
“Once this moment passes, we shall all have reason to celebrate and give thanks to God. Until then, let us honour our social duty by foregoing large gatherings.
“And while we may not be able to see each other face to face, I thank you all for the tender messages of love and affection extended to me and my family in commemoration of the day. These mean much to me.
“While thanking you for your noble intentions, I enjoin you to donate whatever gifts intended for me to your neighbour, to your community or to whomever you know who may be in need at this difficult moment.
“May Almighty God reward you abundantly and honour you as well. Please do all that you can to remain safe and to keep others safe. Protect your family, our state and our nation by staying at home. Thank you.”