Two Northern Governors on Friday stormed Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to celebrate the 80th birthday of Chief Alani Bankole, father of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.
The governors are Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi and Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa.
They were joined at the event by the Governor of Ogun, Dapo Abiodun; former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja; former Governor Mahmud Shinkafi of Zamfara and others.
Speaking at the event held at the Oluwo residence of Chief Bankole, Gov Abiodun congratulated the former National Chairman of the defunct All Peoples Party (APP) on his new age, describing him as a phenomenon whose sunshine beams brightly across the political spectrum of Nigeria and its traditional institutions.
Abiodun added that history will remember Bankole’s role in deepening the rich cultural heritage of his people.
He stated that Ogun is very proud of the elder statesman’s pivotal role in the development of Nigeria’s democracy which has become a reference point.
“Baba, we are proud to have you as one of our own in Ogun State. You are a phenomenon whose sunshine beams brightly across the political spectrum of our dear nation and her traditional institutions. As a kingmaker in your native Egbaland with traditional titles of Seriki Jagunmolu and Oluwo Iporo, Abeokuta, history will remember your role in deepening the rich cultural heritage of your people.
“As you age gracefully on, your home state is very proud of your pivotal role in the development of our democracy which has become a reference point. Your life is indeed an inspiring narrative of uncommon courage, dedication, hard work and commitment to service. We are particularly grateful for your support of our Administration.
“My prayer is that God will preserve you in sound mind and good health for so many more years, to continue to be a source of inspiration and wise counsel to both our Administration and the younger generations,” the governor said.
On his part, the Jigawa state governor described the celebrant as one of the detribalised elders who have mentored many political leaders and urged other Nigerians to emulate him.
He said, “We enjoy your counsel, your guidance and your advice. We will never forget your counsel, your support and your advice. God will keep you to continue to guide us and support us like you always do.
“On behalf of our family from the other side of the country, we wish to congratulate you and we wish you many, many years.”
In his response, Bankole appreciated the governors and charged them to continue to give their best for the country.
Other eminent Nigerians who attended the event include the Former governor of Zamfara, Muhammadu Shinkafi, the Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), former governor of Oyo state, Rasidi Ladoja, Prof. Issac Oloyede, former Military Administrator of Sokoto state, Abdurasheed Raji, among others.