Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari assured on Wednesday that he will do everything within his power to “carry everyone along on my last lap as a democratically-elected leader.”
The President gave the assurance when he received at the State House, Abuja, ministers who served under in his administration as military Head of State between January 1984 and August 1985.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who described the meeting as “a refreshing time of going down memory lane,” President Buhari recalled “how we got things done then,” and pledged to “carry everyone along on my last lap as a democratically-elected leader.”
The President thanked the former ministers “for being consistently in touch” and particularly lauded the military for building Abuja as new federal capital for the country.
A minute silence was observed in memory of those who had passed on among the former ministers.
Leader of the delegation, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who served as Minister of External Affairs, said the team came to congratulate the President on his achievements in security, foreign affairs, anti-corruption, education, and many other areas.
“We were appointed 35 years and nine months ago. Eighteen of us were sworn in. Your leadership was firm, but you also gave us free hand to operate. You knew what each person was doing. We will never forget the opportunity you gave us. We remain patriots,” Prof. Gambari said.
The former minister also commended the President on the newly-constituted Economic Advisory Council, adding that the same should be considered for security and foreign affairs.
Other former ministers in the visiting delegation were Major General Muhammed Magoro (Internal Affairs), Dr Emmanuel Nsan (Health), Alhaji Ibrahim Yakima Abdullah (Education) and Brig-Gen Ahmed Abdullahi (Communications).