President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday congratulated Chief Olutayo Soyode, father-in-law of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on his 80th birthday.
The vice-president, alongside his wife, Dolapo on Sunday, graced the Thanksgiving Service and luncheon held in commemoration of the octogenarian in Lagos.
President Buhari’s birthday message was conveyed in a letter read out at the event.
In the message, the president stated that he was celebrating a worthy patriot and man of honour with strong commitment to family values, education and Nigeria’s socioeconomic development.
Buhari acknowledged the contributions of Pa Soyode to national development including his role as a trained marine engineer and in politics.
“He was a stalwart of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and remains a chieftain of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, where he is a member of the Presidential Campaign Council.
“A long-standing progressive, he was a strong member of the Unity Party of Nigeria, founded by his late father-in-law, the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, during the Second Republic.
“Pa Soyode was an active follower of the late premier of the Western Region (Awolowo) and has showed exemplary leadership qualities as a public intellectual.
“He is very passionate about education, about people and about giving back to his community and to the nation.
“As Pa Soyode turns 80, I wish him many more years of impact from his plethora of wisdom and life experiences that the younger generation, and the nation at large, will surely benefit from,’’ the president stated.
Buhari also prayed for God’s continued guidance and good health for him.
Earlier in his sermon at the Thanksgiving Service, Rev. Yomi Kasali, Senior Pastor, Foundation of Truth Assembly, Lagos, said Pa Soyode lived a life worthy of emulation and celebration.
He said he had lived a peaceful and impactful life and prayed God to grant many more years in good health and strength.
Kasali also offered special prayers for Pa Soyode, his family, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and well-wishers.
The event attracted Soyode’s family members, close friends, associates, and top government functionaries, including Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior.
In his vote of thanks, Pa Soyode thanked everyone who directly or indirectly identified with him on his birthday.
He said he was pleased that the president sent him a congratulatory letter on his 80th birthday and prayed God to grant all his well-wishers long lifenan.