Following a terrorist attack on a Kaduna-bound train, the National leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has cancelled the 13th colloquium organised to celebrate his 70th birthday in the country.
Tinubu said that the decision to cancel the celebration mid-way was to honour the souls that were killed by bandits during the attack on the transport facility.
He announced the cancellation a few minutes before the event on Tuesday commenced with guests including Governor of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Lagos counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Osun governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and many others.
The Lagos former governor, at the event in Lagos, noted that it would be unpolite for him to laugh and dance when many young souls have been snatched and several others sustained varying degrees of injuries during the attacks.
He said: “This is a joyous 70th birthday of mine. But I was just been informed now after going back and forth with prayers and other activities for my birthday. And the reason for the late information was that I did not pay as much attention to news bulletins and read newspapers as I often do. I have just been informed of a very sad incident in our country. This is very sad indeed, that scores of passengers were killed on a train between Abuja and Kaduna State.
“That is a very serious incident about the security of lives in this country and it calls for a very serious and sober reflection. For me, to be here celebrating and dancing does not show the concerns of a statesman.
“I charge all of you who are here and others to go home and continuously pray for the country. This event should not be holding. All the people you see here have also accepted that the event should stop now. We pray for the soul of the departed and for the injured for a quick recovery”, Tinubu added.
Earlier, the chairman of the Media and Publicity sub-committee, and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, had disclosed that the event was expected to examine emerging global development issues and the importance of good governance for Nigeria to be an influential and respected member of the international community.
Omotoso added that President Muhammadu Buhari would Chair the event and Sanwo-Olu would act as the chief host of the event in the state.
Professor Olufemi Bamiro, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, the keynote speaker, is expected to engage the central theme, ‘Pivoting Nigeria into the new world order: Imperatives of Good Governance’
Omotoso stated that the colloquium would have also feature a panel session where some of Nigeria’s leading technology entrepreneurs will discuss “Technology, Entrepreneurship and the future of work”.
The panel discussion to be moderated by Tomilayo Akanni-Aluko will have Bosun Tijani, Chief Executive Officer of Co-Creation Hub, as the Lead Discussant. Other panelists include Samson Ogbole, Managing Director, Soiless Farms, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Group Chief Executive, Life Bank, Kikelomo Fola-Ogunniya, Co-founder, Jand2Gidi and Lot Madaki, Chief Executive Officer, Madaki Shoes.
Speaking on the theme of the colloquium and the planning, Omotoso noted that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the man in whose honour the annual event is being organised, is an extraordinary statesman who has committed himself to making Nigeria one of the most prosperous nations.
His words: “The theme speaks to the person and values of Asiwaju Tinubu. To celebrate his 70th birthday, this year’s colloquium theme is most appropriate. We are talking about an outstanding public servant, who is an advocate of good governance in Nigeria and Africa. He demonstrated this as Governor of Lagos in eight years where he laid the solid foundation for the progress and prosperity of Lagos State that we all talk about today.”