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I Designed US Trip To Avoid My Birthday Celebrations – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed appreciation for the many cards and well-wishes he received for his 80th birthday.

He said however, in a jocular manner, that his wish for a quiet day had been denied by the staff, adding that: “I fixed the return journey from America on the day to avoid the celebration.”

According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, addressing Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the chief of staff, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a handful of other personal staff who gathered at the residence in the morning “to make the President’s birthday an occasion to remember,” President Buhari said a birthday is no more than just another day in the office.

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In a fitting tribute on behalf of the personal staff, the chief read aloud the card signed by them which states thus:

“On behalf of the entire staff of the personal staff and myself, we say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a worthy leader, father of the nation and our own father.

“Your Excellency was a star at the recently-concluded American-African Leaders Summit- recognition by your own peers and the leader of the international community.

We are proud of Your Excellency and grateful for the opportunity to serve Your Excellency with respect and abiding loyalty.”

Buhari waded across the room, reading one card after the other and thereafter ordered everyone back to office: “Back to work,” he said, as he led the way to his office building.

The president participated in meetings and other duties throughout the working hours in the office.