Nigeria’s executive council in last session before Jonathan’s inauguration

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Abuja, Nigeria – Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) met Wednesday for about two hours in its last session before Sunday’s inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan for a fresh term in office, reviewing their tenure. Minister of Information and Communications, Labaran Maku, who briefed journalists at the end of the council session, said “the last council meeting has been held but the Executive Council remains. It has not been dissolved.” Maku said the outgoing ministers unanimously urged the President “to keep his eyes on the gold to ensure that in the next four years, he continues with his humility with firmness and resolution to lead the country in the direction of change, direction of development and prosperity for our children.”

‘Members of council gave gratitude to God for the opportunity to serve. As we all know, for every position that God has given you, there are people outside who are even better than you. It is not a right to be minister. It is a rare privilege. It is not by qualification. It is by the grace and the favour of God. All members of council took time to thank God and thanked Mr President for having the confidence in them.

‘Most members admitted that before the appointment they did not have any relationship with the President but that he had accepted and appointed them meant that he was a leader of vision and someone that was prepared to give opportunity to everyone from every part of the country, no matter your background,’ Maku stressed.

“And Council members also individually and collectively expressed their deep satisfaction for the period they have served, especially the leadership of Mr. President. One after another, Council members took turn to indeed point out the sterling qualities of President Jonathan, particularly his legendary humility and patience and yet his deep judgement and wisdom when the nation was in crisis.

“Everybody admitted that this President has been acknowledged for less than his worth and service to the nation. But all of us together believed in him and we believe also that this nation has not made a mistake by giving him the near unanimous national mandate he has gotten to rule the country for the next four years.

“Members of Council also advised Mr. President on key national issues. Council members believe that our country is standing at the threshold of history, a moment for it to move forward as a nation. Council members particularly gave gratitude to God for a successful election and indeed the honesty of Mr. President in allowing this nation, for the first time, to have a free and fair election, in which citizens expressed themselves without fear or favour and in which many incumbents were unable to come back.

‘This shows that with the right leaders in place and with commitment in the nation and with sincerity of purpose, it is possible to make Nigeria become a better and different country.

“Also, the ministers believed that Mr. President in the last one year that he has been directly in charge, has continued to evolve a programme for national transformation. Council also believed that at this moment also, Nigeria, through his leadership, has regained the lost international solidarity that we almost got out in the years of the military dictatorship.

‘He has restored the honour and dignity of Nigerians at home and abroad and at this point, the world is beginning to show confidence in our country. Today’s Council was a very exciting one and therefore we believe that the way we took off and concluded showed the unity of purpose in government.

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