It was a night of tributes at a dinner in honour of the Africa Director and Co Director On Nigeria of the MacArthur Foundation Dr Kole Shettima to mark his 60th birthday.
Kole Shettima with colleague and birthday mate Amina Salihu
The dinner which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel and Hosted by the Centre for Democracy and Development was the assemblage of distinguished Nigerians from diverse areas of endeavour.
In his opening comments Prof Adele Jinaidu who chaired the occasion extolled Dr Shettima’s virtues of humility and modesty which he said stood him out while recalling the pivotal role he played in supporting Scholarship and academics for the improvement of society.
In a citation which she adapted from Signature TV tribute to mark Dr Shettima’s birthday Saudatu Mahdi, Secretary General of WRAPPA said the Celebrant was a study in humility stressing that in the last 21 years working at MacArthur Foundation he led interventions in multiple sectors of Nigeria’s development.
Delivering her keynote address Ene Obi of Action Aid described Kole Shettima as a comrade and mentor to many.
Former Nigerian Minister of Environment and current Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed who is also a friend and associate of the Celebrant opened the floodgates of glowing tributes with Ab Mahmoud SAN, Dayo Olaide Deputy Director at MacArthur Foundation and others following in her heels, all praising the uncommon attributes of Dr Shettima.
In his response Shettima thanked all those who attended the event and the CDD team in particular for the honour done him pledged to re-dedicate himself to the Nigerian project and the well being of ordinary Nigerians.
The high point of was the cutting of the birthday cake by the Celebrant and other dignitaries at the occasion which also featured drama and music.