The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said President Muhammadu Buhari’s life has been that of unalloyed service to Nigeria, his country, and to humanity at large.
The minister said this in a tribute he rendered while addressing newsmen to mark the occasion of the President’s 79th birthday.
Mohammed said the President “has been almost everything there is to be in the service to the nation, and he has always given his all each time. Not once has he fallen short.
“He has been a soldier, governor, minister, Trust Fund Chairman, Military Head of State democratically-elected President (twice).
“He fought a war to keep Nigeria together, and that explains his passion for the country’s unity”.
Mohammed said Buhari, as a steady hand in troubled times, made it possible for him to preside over the affairs of the country at a most turbulent period.
He said in spite of obvious challenges, the President had managed to keep the nation afloat, and even set it on a trajectory of growth and development.
“In spite a myriad of security challenges, and amidst dwindling national earnings and a crippling global pandemic, he has racked up a number of achievements, most of them unprecedented.
“He leapfrogged Nigeria to the modern rail era and set the nation on the path of unprecedented infrastructural development.
“The President built the Second Niger Bridge that his predecessors only built on paper, gave Nigeria its first modern airport terminals in decades, and provided a social safety net for the poor.
“He introduced school feeding system that has helped push up school enrollment, institutionalized measures to fight corruption through the strict implementation of TSA, and the introduction of the Whistleblower policy among others,” he said.
According to the minister, the President has put Nigeria on the road to food self-sufficiency and saved states from collapse through generous bailouts that never toed party lines.
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He said Buhari empowered jobless graduates through the N-Power series, saw Nigeria through one of the worst pandemics in human history, with the economy still recording growth.
Mohammed said the President restored the country’s respect and dignity in the comity of nations.
He gave the instance of the recent quick reversals of flight bans by the UK and Canada and the quick decision by the UAE to reverse itself on the number of slots given to a Nigerian airline.
The minister said Buhari upgraded military hardware for our armed services and restored the respect of our gallant military.
“It is said that everything happens for a reason. That Buhari is in charge of Nigeria at this time is not a mere coincidence.
“His years in the military that saw him reaching the peak of his career; his various positions within and outside the military, his global exposure, his unmatched demeanor and, above all, his wisdom have all helped to stabilize Nigeria at the most difficult of times,” he said.
The minister noted that Buhari’s achievements might not seem too obvious at present because of naysayers, sponsored attackers, and desperate opposition politicians unrelenting in their craft.
He assured that posterity would be kind to the President.
“His life has meant service to his fatherland, a man who goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning thinking of Nigeria.
“I believe God has a reason for keeping him alive when many had written him off as dead,” he said.
The minister wished the President a happy birthday and thanked him for his service to the nation.
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