Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has congratulated the Esama of Benin Kingdom Gabriel Igbinedion on his 88th birthday.
In a message released by his media office, Mr. Tinubu praised the elder-statesman and Benin high chief for his contributions to social and economic development of the country as an entrepreneur, philanthropist and cultural ambassador.
The former Lagos State governor and APC national leader recollected how Igbinedion was the first Nigerian to start a private airline business when he established Okada Airlines and the first Nigerian to start a private university.
“There is no better time to fully celebrate Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, than on the occasion of his 88th birthday celebration.
“Chief Igbinedion is an extraordinary Nigerian who, through dint of hard work and his indomitable spirit, blazed the trail for many Nigerians in business and philanthropy.
“He made us realise it’s possible and profitable for a private individual to operate an airline business in Nigeria when everyone thought it was impossible.
“He brought fame and honour to his hometown, Okada when he named his airline Okada and a little-known village became known globally.
“Chief Igbinedion also made his mark in the educational sector with the establishment of Igbinedion University also in Okada as the first private university in Nigeria.
“As Esama of Benin, Chief Igbinedion excelled as a cultural ambassador and icon of the kingdom. He has used every opportunity to promote the rich culture and tradition around the world.
“I am indeed happy that this well-accomplished Nigerian has reached the age of 88 in good health and uncommon vitality. I join his family, friends and associates to wish this illustrious Nigerian happy birthday and more grace for the years ahead,” Tinubu’s message read.