The President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has canceled his annual birthday colloquium and instead directed that special prayers and thanksgiving services be held to mark his 71st birthday on Wednesday.

In a statement issued by his media officer, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu instructed that special prayers be offered at the Central Mosque in each of the five divisions in Lagos State, including the Central Mosque in the Alausa area of Ikeja.

During the prayer sessions, special prayers will be offered for the peace, unity, and progress of Nigeria, as well as for the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, Tinubu’s wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and other dignitaries.

The session at Alausa Central Mosque will begin at 10 am on Wednesday and will include sermons and reading from the Holy Quran.

“The session at Alausa Central Mosque will begin at 10am on Wednesday and will include delivery of sermons and reading from the Holy Quran,” the statement said.

This year will be the third time that the birthday colloquium would not hold in recent times in deference to developments in the country.

In 2020, the 12th edition of the colloquium marking the president-elect’s 68th birthday was called off to empathize with those who lost their lives or were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, the birthday symposium was also called off by Tinubu right at the venue of the event when news of the Abuja-Kaduna train terror attack in which several persons died and many others abducted was reported.

Tinubu canceled the birthday symposium last year due to the Abuja-Kaduna train terror attack, which caused the death of several people and the abduction of many others.

The event was called off right at the venue, Eko Hotel and Suites, which was packed with dignitaries.

Tinubu made the announcement himself, stating that it was not appropriate for him as a statesman to celebrate while such a tragedy had befallen the nation.

He stated, “For me to be here celebrating, dancing and enjoying myself, does not speak of me as a senior citizen of this country. I asked that the cleric should rather engage in prayers. This event should not be holding.”

Ahead of his birthday in 2023, the president-elect has made a plea to his supporters not to plan any surprise packages for him, as his birthday falls within the holy month of Ramadan.

Instead, the former Lagos governor has requested that they dedicate the day to prayers and seek divine guidance for himself and the country, as he prepares to take on the mantle of leadership.