President Muhammadu Buhari has rejoiced with music superstar and evangelist, Chief Ebenezer Fabiyi, (Commander Ebenezer Obey) on the occasion of his 80th birthday, which comes up on April 3.
In a congratulatory message issued by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, on Saturday in Abuja, the president paid tribute to the musician, who used his art and skills to fly Nigeria’s flag round the world.
He lauded Obey for bringing joy and merriment to people with his sonorous voice, and didactic songs, for over six decades.
According to the president, “though the musician is from Abeokuta, Obey’s music has been a blessing not only to the entire Southwest but he has garnered tremendous recognition and adulation nationally and internationally.’’
Buhari commended Obey for using his music to champion government programmes as he did in 1972 when Nigeria changed to Right Hand drive with his music (Keep Right).
He recalled his contribution when the country changed currency from the Sterling to Naira and Kobo when he sang (Naira and Kobo) and “Operation Feed the Nation’’, an agricultural programme government introduced in 1977.
The president noted that the musician/preacher had sung on virtually every area of human endeavour and activity with countless gold discs and many platinum discs to his credit.
He said this had led to his recognition and honour with the prestigious award of Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2001.
He lauded the fact that on July 7, 2014, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, conferred on Obey the status of Professor of Music.
Consequently, Obey was made a visiting lecturer in the university’s Department of English and Performing Arts.
The president urged the younger generation to borrow a leaf from the musician, who was formally ordained into the Ministry on his 50th birthday on April 3, 1992.