A former minister of works, Tony Anenih, has said he will not be celebrating his 85th birthday with pomp as a result of the poor state of affairs of the nation.
Mr Anenih, a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, said in a statement on Monday that he was putting off the celebration initially scheduled to hold on August 4.
“There is no doubt that attaining a milestone of 85 years on earth is a privilege enjoyed by a few; and, it is, therefore, an occasion worth celebrating with loved ones and friends,” Mr Anenih said.
“On reflections, however, whilst I remain grateful to God for His unfailing love and sustenance that have kept me all through the years, I am, sadly, unable to fulfill this earnest desire to celebrate the milestone because of the unfortunate recent losses that befell my family in quick succession, the condition of my health and the sad state of the nation that has witnessed so much losses, bloodshed and apprehension.
“Nonetheless, I sincerely appreciate the effort being made by government and some influential Nigerians to restore peace.
“I believe that with prayers and faith in God, there is hope for restoration of peace and good neighbourliness in Nigeria soon and in the years ahead.”
Mr Anenih urged all well-meaning Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora to be united in purpose and join in prayers for God’s intervention in the affairs of our nation.
“Indeed, members of my immediate family have decided to respect my decision and they have already cancelled initial arrangements to celebrate my 85th birthday with pomp,” said Mr Anenih, who is also titled as the Iyasele of Esanland.
“While I pray to the Almighty God to perfect my health and give me the grace to witness many more years on earth, I believe that the future holds a great promise of wonderful times to get together for birthday celebrations and other festivities.”