The Coalition for A Better Nigeria yesterday felicitated with Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka on his birthday.
It described Soyinka, who turned 86 on July 15, as “an irrepressible international figure, Epitome of Integrity”.
In a statement, it said Soyinka’s qualities explained why he was bestowed “with a beautifully crafted Akikanju Omo Odu’a Ori – Olokun Award in 2016 at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, by the Grand Council of Yoruba Youths, during the annual celebration of Yoruba National Day, which was used to herald Lagos @ 50 celebration.”
The group noted that a former Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon will also be 86 later in October.
It described Gowon as ‘National Leader of Nigerians’ during whose regime large deposits of oil were discovered in the country.
“In all ramifications, you are truly Kongi, the unbreakable. We say a Big Thank You for inspiring us…”
It also praised the “laudable contributions of former Civilian Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba and former Military Administrator of the old Western Region, Gen David Jemibewon (Rtd), who clocked 81 and 80, to the development of Ogun State and Southwest Region respectively and Nigeria.”
The group further congratulated Nigerian co-pilots, Pius Odioko and Captain Oluwatoberu Thomas, “both of whom made Nigeria proud through their historic flight”.
Odioko and Thomas on July 13 became the first all-Nigerian flight crew in the history of the Frontier Airline in the United States of America (USA).
It said they were “making positive impacts to the African American Communities.”
It also mourned the death of Nigeria’s first female combat Helicopter Pilot, Flying Officer, Tolulope Arotile and that of two northern elder statesmen, Mallam Ismaila Isa Funtua and Adamu Mu’azu Modibbo.