7 things Amaechi told Buhari at valedictory FEC meeting
It was a moment of reflections and appreciations for Nigerian federal cabinet ministers and President Muhammadu Buhari at the councils valedictory FEC meeting on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.
Contrary to the intermittent cabinet reshufflement that characterized past administrations, the Buhari’s cabinet which was constituted four months after he ousted former President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 presidential elections has served interruptedly.
President Buhari took the final meeting to highlight his scorecard and also explained why he retained all his cabinet ministers to the end of his first term.
The president says, “Although we all had a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational.
“It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and ministers spoke on their experiences working with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
I will never forget when you were going on medical leave in May 2017, and you said to me that you would not fault my discretion as Acting President in any way. In keeping with your character and style, you kept your words.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi
Mr. President, let me thank you for not converting me to Islam. I say that specifically because in 2014 when I walked into Christ the King Catholic Church, I was chased out of the church as a governor because I was accused of supporting a man whose agenda was to Islamise Nigeria. And in Rivers State, they begin to call me Alhaji Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. I thank you because they have dropped the Alhaji and I am back to Mr. Chibuike Amaechi.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama
In Poland, you showed your humility when, after a long tiring day, you were kept waiting by the Deputy Prime Minister. I advised you to leave but you preferred to wait patiently, and you were proved right, it was a wonderful meeting.
Minister of State (Agriculture), Heineken Lokpobiri
What I have learnt in the last three and a half years I have not learnt in my 12 years as a parliamentarian. I was a speaker in Bayelsa State House of Assembly in 1999. I was a Senator in 2007 to 2015 but the last three and half years cannot be equaled to what I learnt as a member of the cabinet.
Minister of State (Petroleum), Ibe Kachikwu
I have had the unique privilege of working with Mr. President directly, different from being my president; he was my direct boss. In that prior, we had worked together to deal with many problems that beset that industry. Problems of fuel scarcity, dwindling production, transparency, the crisis in the Niger Delta and fiscal federalism and the TSA ultimately captured most of the earnings of this country from that sector.
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