By Akeem Busari

The football community in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria are rolling out the drums and clinking glasses as they celebrate the birthday of former footbalIer turned politician, Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf Ajide, the Executive Chairman of Surulere Local Government in Lagos.

Hon. Ajide who played youth and league football for several teams in Nigeria before his sojourn abroad is regarded as one of the biggest promoters of grassroots football in Nigeria. He is also renowned for his uncommon philanthropic gestures and particularly, spending millions of personal funds to provide welfare and financial supports to hundreds of retired Nigerian footballers.

Former Nigeria international player, Peter Nieketien in his congratulatory message described Ajide, as a rare breed politician and fervent lover and supporter of football and its retired stars. He prayed that God continue to protect and bless him.

Rev. Samuel Ikpea, national chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, thanked God for His protection and blessings on Ajide. While he prayed also that God should grant him good health, long life and wisdom for the benefits of Nigerian football and humanity in general.

In his own message, former Nigeria international and captain of defunct Abiola Babes FC, Tajudeen Disu, was effusive in praises and prayers for the well loved politician and football enthusiast.

” I don’t know where to begin in eulogising Hon. Ajide. This man is a special gift from God to humanity. He is a very good man, kind and compassionate. 

” As a former footballer himself, his love and support towards ensuring a better life for retired footballers across the country is uncommon. He is kindness, humility and philanthropy personified. And as he adds another year to his life in the land of the living, I wish him better health, long life and abundant blessings and prosperity,” Disu, who is the Supervisory council for Agric and sports in Surulere local government, prayed.

Several other footbalIers and enthusiasts including former Super Eagles stars, Wasiu Ipaye, Emmanuel Okala, Charles Okonkwo, Dehinde Akinlotan, the Akanni brothers, Ganiu and Waidi, Benjamin James, Segun Odegbami, Wakilu Oyenuga, also expressed their good wishes and felicitation to him.

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