President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council, FEC commended his ministers for their loyalty since 2015 and said he will have time to take care of his cattle in his Daura hometown, Katsina state.
The President also lauded staff of the State House for their support in his eight years administration.
In his remark at the valedictory session held at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President thanked all the ministers for their steadfastness in pursuing the goals of the administration, urging support for the incoming President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, even from outside government.
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He appreciated the ministers for working closely together, despite many odds and challenges, and sustaining the synergy that translated into many achievements, saying, “I am proud to say we gave our best.”
The President directed the ministers to remain on their duty posts and avoid last-minute rush that could compromise the good deeds they had done over the years.
He said, “In the cause of our years together, ranging from our newest addition to the oldest members of the team for the past seven and half years, we have differed on many issues. I urge that we understand that those positions were for the collective good, and no one should keep grievances, or carry these differences forward.
“For those of us that will not directly be in government, I know that I am one of such, I ask that we continue to provide our support, in whatever way we can, if called upon by our great party, All Progressives Congress (APC) that gave us the platform to stand and we must continue to support it in every way we can”.
President Buhari attributed all the good work and goodwill received by the administration to God’s intervention, adding, “I also thank God for the strength and for keeping us together.’’
“I look forward to seeing many of you, disproving that Daura has not become too distant because I am no longer Mr President.
“I will also be happy to do the many things that I have not been able to do since May 29th, 2015, one of such is my favorite pastime of taking care of my cattle.
“I wish all of us the best and hope to hear good news whenever any of our names are mentioned. Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he stated.
While meeting with Staff of the State House, the President commended both the senior and junior workers for supporting his administration for eight years.
He noted that the administration had stretched to accommodate the views of workers and to meet some of their needs, within the available resources.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the valedictory session, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said during the FEC meeting Ministers were allocated time to deliver their farewell messages.
According to him, He “During that meeting, we adopted minutes of the two extraordinary FEC meetings and at the same time, opportunity was given to every minister to make his own farewell speech. It’s instructive to note that each and every minister present today, and I’m not aware of any who was absent, was given between two to five minutes to make his or her own valedictory speech and I think largely everybody commended Mr. President and thanked the President for the opportunity to serve the country at this level.
“Many also took the opportunity to reel out what his or her own ministry or department had achieved over the last eight years. Of course you know, there are about three classes or categories of ministers; there are ministers that came in 2015 with us who were retained till 2023.
“There’re ministers that came in 2019 and have been there till 2023 and there are the last batch of ministers that came in about nine months ago.
“So everybody made his or her own valedictory speech, depending on how long he or she had been occupying the position. But generally, I think it was just a glorious moment for all the ministers to thank the President, thank their colleagues and also give gratitude to God, that a journey that started in 2015 is ending very well in 2023.
“I think everybody, including the Chief of Staff, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of Service, the Vice President, all made their valedictory speeches and then the President responded, and I think largely he thanked all of us for our contributions and prayed for us in our next endeavour”.
The Minister said the President also emphasised the need for Ministers to be up and doing especially as it concerns the transition programme that terminates on May 29.
His words: “He reiterated the fact that we should all go back to our offices so that we can carry out the assignments and tasks assigned to us in respect of the transition program. For instance, tomorrow (Thursday) we’ll all have to be present at the conferment of the national honours on both the President-elect and the Vice President-elect and at that occasion, I think the handing-over instrument will also be given to the incoming President. That’s Thursday.
“On Friday, of course, there will be prayers. On Saturday, there’ll be public lecture. On Sunday, there will be a church service, and then on Monday there will be the inauguration proper at Eagle Square, and then there will be dinner in the evening, largely for visiting heads of states and those who have been invited to the dinner. So governance continues until May 29”.