President Muhammadu Buhari have sent birthday greetings to Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka on his 85th birthday anniversary.
Mr Soyinka, born on July 13, 1934, is a Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist with many accolades to his name. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first black man to be honoured in the category.
President Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said,
“President Buhari joins family and friends of the cerebral academic in celebrating the many years of laudable achievements, recognition, awards, and consistency, all which have cumulated in pride to Nigerians, Africans and the black race.
“The President salutes Prof Soyinka for his intellectual momentum, interventions on state issues and polity through articles and comments, penchant for justice, and persistence in holding leaders to account.
“As he clocks 85, President Buhari affirms that Prof Soyinka’s lifestyle sends a message to all Nigerians and Africans, especially the younger generation, that real success is measured by the intangibles of courage and impact brought to the life of others, rather than pursuit of personal interests.
“The President congratulates the literary giant for projecting Nigerian and African values to the world, wishing him more years of health, wisdom and service to the nation and humanity,” Mr Buhari said.
Also, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar said Mr Soyinka is a national treasure.
“Happy 85th birthday Professor Oluwole Soyinka. I would have used the word icon to describe you, but you are beyond that. You are an institution. An institution of literary excellence and conscientious activism. A national treasure, you are Nigeria’s pride and a beacon to Africa.
In wishing you many more years of life, I celebrate the fact that, like wine, you are getting better with age. We have a lot to thank you for. From putting us on the Nobel map, to getting FRSC up & running, and expanding the minds of our youth. We can never thank you enough.”