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On June 25, 2020, the amiable governor of Lagos State of Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Olusola Sanwoolu added another year to his age clocking a landmark of 55 years.
Perhaps considering the state of the world at present ravaged by a global pandemic popularly called Covid -19, it was a celebration devoid of any pomp and pageantry. But nobody could take the joy of that day from him.
Earlier, through an announcement made by the ministry of information, members of the public had been told not to sponsor any birthday greeting in the newspapers.

The statement read, “This is to inform friends, families, professional colleagues and political associates of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu that no congratulatory advertisements should be placed in newspapers to celebrate his forthcoming birthday.
“The Governor wishes to continue his tradition of reaching out and sharing love with the needy in the society.
“Mr. Governor believes that an occasion of one’s birthday, especially a milestone such as the age of 55, should be a day to reflect on one’s purpose of existence in life and, this according to him, is “to serve the humanity”.
“Apart from the outreach, Mr. Governor is scheduled to spend the better part of the day to attend to many important State matters.
“The Governor thanks his numerous supporters and well wishers, who may have planned to celebrate with him in one way or another as he turns 55, advising them to use same resources to touch the lives of the most vulnerable people in their spheres of influence.
He said: “the best birthday gift anyone would give me at this period is to identify those at the bottom of the pyramid wherever they reside, lift them up by putting smiles on their faces-that way, you would have lifted my heart too.”
“Finally, there is no plan for any form of celebration other than what has been stated above.”
However the birthday boy could not hide the joy of the milestone as he acknowledged what God and the good people around him had done in his 55 years on the surface of the earth.
He wrote, in what he titled 55 years of life’s lessons, “June 25th- A constant reminder of my life’s journey, and God’s unending love for me. I am a product of God’s unwavering grace, and a tool in His workshop, to be used in the service of mankind and by His special grace, I will fulfill destiny, and His plans for me shall continue to manifest. Amen”
He continued, “I have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for 55 years of purposeful living. I am thankful for my family and my loved ones, especially my dear wife Ibijoke and our wonderful kids, whom God has blessed us with. I am thankful for friends and
acquaintances, and I am most thankful for the people of Lagos for their unwavering support, encouragement and prayers.”
He did not conclude without expressing his 10 life wishes.
“My wish will always be: To lead and be led; to serve without limit; to give without expectations; to love beyond limits; to be a beacon of hope; to be a reflection of God’s shining light; to work conscientiously and selflessly; to be giving of myself at all times, and to work like no one’s watching. Amen. A big thank you to everyone for the best wishes. God bless.” Wishing Mr. Governor and his family a very happy Celebration.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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