GUESTS attending former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s 83rd birthday ceremony in Abeokuta today are being screened for the dreaded coronavirus by health officials before they are allowed into the event hall.
Today, Chief Obasanjo celebrates his 83rd birthday, attracting accolades from all over the world, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt Reverend Justin Welby even sending him a handwritten personal message. In the message, the archbishop noted that the former president, despite his age, has continued to serve the course of peace globally.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also sent Chief Obasanjo a personal message, as have several other Nigerian leaders. They have all hailed his contribution to Nigeria’s democracy, heralding him as the first military leader to hand over to a civilian government in 1979 and also being the first civilian president to hand over to a fellow civilian in 2007.
Today, the birthday is being marked with a mega event at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. Dignitaries from all walks of life are in attendance but due to the spread of the coronavirus to Nigeria, everyone is having to be tested before being allowed into the hall.
On February 28, it was confirmed that an Italian man who arrived on a flight to Lagos was infected with the virus. Apparently, the 44-year old man is a consultant working with cement giant Larfarge Africa, which has a plant at Ewekoro in Ogun State and he visited the facility upon his arrival, leading to it being shut down.
Upon arriving in Nigeria, the Italian was said to have visited both the Ewekoro factory and the offices of Agip Saipem in Banana Island in Lagos. After the visits, he developed a fever and was treated at the Lafarge facility clinic before he was rushed to Lagos on Wednesday when his case grew worse.
In Lagos, he was quarantined at the Mainland Hospital in Yaba, formerly known as the Infectious Diseases Hospital. Lagos State deputy governor Obafemi Hamzat, has assured Nigerians that the state government is on top of the situation, saying there is nothing to fear, as anyone affected will be quarantined.