The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday said his 72nd birthday which holds on Sunday was coming at a time that calls for sober reflection and prayer, rather than merriment.
He said a time like this required a sharp focus on rescuing Nigeria from the economic crisis and global ignominy.
Atiku said this in a statement made available to journalists by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe.
The former Vice President, therefore, enjoined his family, friends, and associates to withhold from placing adverts to congratulate him.
While appreciating their good intentions, Atiku said he would prefer if his well-wishers instead channelled their funds for adverts and congratulatory messages to charity organisations of their choice, such as orphanages.
The statement read, “Atiku Abubakar understands clearly that birthdays are a time of celebration, of looking back and thanking God for life, for achievements and milestones, and for great expectations of a more glorious future to come.
“He is also painfully aware that, at this time, many Nigerians have little to celebrate: the millions who are out of jobs, the civil servants who are owed months of salaries, the indigenes of villages and towns across Nigeria whose daily reality is violent insurgency or spontaneous attacks, the tens of millions whose dire economic circumstances have earned Nigeria the shameful title of the world’s extreme poverty capital of the world to mention but a few.
“These times call for sober reflection and prayer, rather than merriment and jollification. These times require laser sharp focus on rescuing Nigeria from the economic crisis and global ignominy.
“These times must be dedicated solely to the task of getting Nigeria working again, on JOBS (Jobs, Opportunities, Being United and Security). The time for celebration will definitely come. But, first of all, the battle for the soul of our nation must be won.
“Atiku Abubakar thanks Nigerians for their overwhelming support of his quest to lead our great country out of darkness into light in 2019.”