UPDATED: Buhari Meets With Departing Ministers, Thanks Them For Service
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with members of the Federal Executive Council who are seeking elective positions in the 2023 general elections, using the opportunity to thank them for their service to the nation.
Recall that the president, in line with Section 84(12) of the 2022 Electoral Act directed these sets of ministers to resign their present offices on or before Monday.
Speaking in Abuja at the farewell meeting for ministers contesting political offices, Buhari said he believes that his outgoing appointees will produce the next Nigerian president.
According to him, ”I have no doubt that if the next President emerges from among former members of this cabinet, like any other aspirant, ample competence and outstanding service delivery would be on display. This will be part of our legacies to Nigerians.”
Buhari commended the departing public officers for serving the nation sacrificially, ”with dignity and honour” saying, ”I note that some have complied while others are in the process of doing so.
”I would like to use this opportunity to commend your decision and courage to contest for elective offices and your compliance with my directive.
”I also wish to thank you for your invaluable services to this nation through your contributions as Cabinet members.
”I wish you success in the upcoming elections and in your future endeavours,” he said.
President Buhari told the ministers that looking back as the head of the team over the years, he had fond memories of incisive and robust discussions during cabinet meetings, rendering of performance reports during special sessions and presidential retreats.
READ ALSO: VIDEO: Man Turns Into a Cow After Allegely Sleeping With A Married Woman
”In 2015, citizens of this country overwhelmingly voted for me to become the President of this nation on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
”Selecting members of the Cabinet went through a careful process so that the best and most competent could emerge. The performance of that class of 2015 proved me right.
”In 2019, Nigerians similarly re-elected me as President. Again the selection went through another meticulous process.
”That re-election was significant because it served as a referendum on our performance during the first term and it inspired me to bring back some of the members of the first cabinet either to their old Ministries or re-assigned to other sectors.
”New Members were also brought on board to inject fresh energies, skills and ideas to enhance the execution of the government’s programs and policies.
”With these and much more, I am happy to note that a significant number of cabinet members have become sufficiently equipped to aspire to higher elective offices, including the Office of the President. This shows the impact of the experience gathered while serving as members of the Federal Executive Council,” he said.
The following outgoing members of FEC were present at the valedictory session: ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
Others are the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen and the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Tayo Alasoadura.
Speaking on behalf of the outgoing ministers, Akpabio thanked the President for giving them the opportunity to serve and contribute their quota to nation building.
He described working with the President as a ‘‘fantastic and knowledgeable experience,’’ adding that as they step aside they will continue to be great disciples of Buhari.
”As we step aside from FEC, I want you to know that you have disciples in us. I want you to know that it is time for us to propagate Buharism.
”I want you to know that we are going to be working closely with the Minister of Information and Culture to take your message of transformation, love, patience, and administrative sagacity to Nigerians, ” he said.
The Niger Delta Minister told the President that from his interactions with colleagues leaving the cabinet was like the story of the Spanish play of ‘‘sadness and joy.’’
”Sadness in the sense that we are going to miss the continuous daily and weekly interaction with a Father and learning from him; joy because we now have an opportunity to go to the wider audience in Nigeria to speak more of your achievements for this country. ”