It was a celebration galore at the International Conference Centre, Abuja by relations, close associates and friends from all strata of the society to acknowledge the attributes of a man who continues to stand tall in all spheres of human endeavour at 70, Chief Gabriel Yakubu Aduku.
The Day was the 3rd of February, 2014 when what seemed as an endless roll of personalities who are movers and shakers in the political and socio-economic circles of the country, gathered to felicitate with a principled architect cum politician of no equals in the present day Nigeria.
These personalities include an Elder Statesman and Wakilin Adamawa, Amb. Hassan Adamu, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Rtd Lt-General Salihu Ibrahim, Major-General David Jemibewon, Minister of State for Niger-Delta Darius Ishaku, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Ex-Governor Victor Attah, Rtd Justice Sylvester Umoru Onu (JSC), Chief Tom Ikimi, Senators Nicholas Ugbane, Tunde Ogbeha, Ibrahim Mantu and Deputy Speaker Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Omebije.
Others were Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanw, Alhaji Ozi Salami and Dr. Abu John Alifia as well as representatives of the Kogi State Governor, His Royal Majesty, the Attah Igala and Former President Shehu Aliyu Shagari.
The assemblage could also be seen as a pool and the oneness of who is who in Kogi, the home state of the celebrant, irrespective of tribal, religious, political and socio-cultural beliefs.
It was encomiums all the way from speaker to speaker for a man who rose from very humble beginnings and distinguished himself in the architectural practice to become a Fellow and President of Nigerian Institute of Architects, Chartered Architect, Member Royal Institute of British Architects, President Architects Registration Council of Nigeria and currently Member Board of Trustees of the Institute.
No wonder, Dr. Ahmadu Ali described Chief Aduku as a pace-setter whose professional callings sprang up across the country with admiration.
Dr. Ahmadu Ali challenged Nigerians to learn from the Celebrant to make the nation great.
Praying God to grant Chief Aduku good health to live up to a hundred years and even beyond, the Wakilin Adamawa Amb. Hassan Adamu remarked that the Celebrant was not only a role model, but a shining example for other Nigerians.
Aligning Chief Aduku as his father-in-law, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said he was delighted to have found himself in such relationship with the family whose son is married to his daughter.
Governor Oshiomhole who extolled the virtues of his father-in-law, frowned at some politicians who took politics as a profession and only means of livelihood.
Other Speakers commended the Celebrant’s forgiven spirit despite the humiliation he suffered in the hands of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), when he was falsely accused of corruption in 2008 while in office as Minister of State for Health.
His triumph after devoting almost two years pursuing the case for the preservation and restoration of his integrity through the Law Courts is no more news, but the failure of the Federal Government to reward honesty and exemplary conduct by this patriotic Nigerian.