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Senator jim Nwobodo’s speech as delivered at Chief John Oyegun’s birthday celebration.

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Your Excellency, The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo, Your Excellency the Senate President, Your Excellencies State Governors, Honourable Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps. The Celebrant, Chief John Oyegun and APC chieftains.

Good evening and welcome. I would like to begin by thanking everyone who made this Celebration possible, especially members of Inner Circle Club of the University of Ibadan of which Oyegun and I are members. Membership of this club is by invitation only and if any existing member objects, the prospective is disqualified. It is a very selective club. To be a member of Inner Circle you have to be of good behaviour, good character, and to excel in academics, sports and your chosen career. I am happy to say that a number of our members have met these expectations, Happy Birthday, Chief John Oyegun Chairman of our great party.

Yours is an important position, that comes with enormous challenges; leading a party in government at the most difficult and delicate time in our country. As we celebrate you, we pray that God will give you the wisdom to thrive at this time. As you already know, APC is preparing for a test of its might in the South East, with the forth coming governorship election in Anambra State in November.

We also pray that God will guide your decision in all matters concerning this election.

Today we are celebrating John Oyegun’s life and work, and the presence of these distinguished guests is a tribute to how much John Oyegun means in the lives of so many people and the variety of ways in which he touched their lives.

Chief John Oyegun was first a career civil servant and a super permanent secretary, as they were then called, before venturing into politics. He was governor of Edo state under the platform of the defunct SDP from 1992 to 1993. He has served Nigeria in a variety of ways and in different capacities, that he deserves to be celebrated.

Oyegun has contributed immeasurably to Keep a mega party, which emerged from amalgamation of three parties, together. A feat I know, as a politician, is not mean. It is therefore a great joy to share the celebrant with the world and fortunately there is a lot to share.
In the course of his career and political ventures, he interacted and established good relationships with people across regions, tribes and faith and political constituencies. A relationship to be leveraged for the national unity we are unconsciously and very painfully losing in Nigeria.

To put this in perspective; I was born in the north, educated in the west, had my first job experience as a teacher at Kings college Lagos. I left Lagos for Portharcourt in the South South as a Shell staff, before the war sent us back to south east. That was the old good Nigeria and the Nigeria of our dream. How many of our youths would feel safe today to traverse the length and breadth of Nigeria the way we did in our days.

I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all stakeholders; elders, leaders, religious institutions, educational institutions to please call our youths in order. My generation is looking up to you our young leaders to give us Nigeria of our dream.

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