The Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Eminence Cardinal John Onaiyekan, celebrated his 80th birthday on Thursday in Abuja.
The ceremony was attended by some important dignitaries, which includes the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio; the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; former Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, and former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon.
The event also attracted religious leaders, past and serving politicians, traditional rulers and business moguls.
While welcoming the Archbishop emeritus to the club of over 80, Gowon described Onaiyekan as an exceptional religious leader and a man of faith who has worked tirelessly for the interfaith unity of the country and wished him many more years in good health.
Speaking as the Chairman of the celebration, Akpabio praised Onaiyekan for his remarkable life and service as a true icon of faith and leadership, whose unwavering commitment to justice, compassion and unity has touched countless lives and inspired generations.
Senator Akpabio described Onaiyekan as a man of unfaltering faith and unfluctuating dedication, who became a beacon of hope, guiding his flock with love, compassion, and unwavering integrity.
Cardinal Onaiyekan was the Archbishop of Abuja from 1994 to 2019 and served as President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, and Bishop of Ilorin.
A book titled “Religion for Peace” was also presented as part of the activities to mark the birthday celebration.