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Modibbo weeps as he hands over

Posted by By NGOZI OKAFOR, ABUJA on 2008/10/31 | Views: 3176 |

Modibbo weeps as he hands over

One of the high-profile casualties of Wednesday’s cabinet reshuffle, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, literally fought back tears yesterday as he handed over the reins of office to take his final bow.

*Says I want to serve again

One of the high-profile casualties of Wednesday’s cabinet reshuffle, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, literally fought back tears yesterday as he handed over the reins of office to take his final bow.

Modibbo, until the cabinet shake up, minister in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, had read the mournful mood in the Minister’s Conference Room when he announced that the hand-over ceremony would be brief, to avoid turning it into a “crying party.” But it was with an emotion-laden voice that he conducted the affair, even as he noted that he was still ready to serve, if re-appointed.

Clad in a white caftan with a cap to match and his head towering above everyone else’s, former minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Aliyu Modibbo Umar, entered the Minister’s Conference hall located in Life Camp, Jabi Abuja, with puffy eyes and looking confounded.

The event was the handover ceremony organised on the heels of Wednesday’s cabinet shake-up in which 20 ministers were sent packing by President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua.
In an emotion-laden voice, Dr Modibbo, even as he fought to control tears, expressed appreciation to all for his days as the minister of the FCT, saying it was a rare privilege to serve as a cabinet minister thrice.
His words: “We will be fast, because we do not want to turn this place into a crying party and I will lead you in that crying. I hope it will be possible but let’s see how it goes.”
He continued, “I have always said that if a regular person will thank God 10 times, Aliyu Modibbo will thank God a million times. I thank the president for granting me a rare privilege of occupying this exalted position.”

The former minister declined press interview and hence did not explain the reason for his gloomy look and the shedding of tears. He said while handing over that his administration was able to calm nerves of the masses in restoring the Abuja Master Plan and that brought measurable tranquility to the territory.
“We have tried to restore confidence in the administration of FCT and have instituted a number of programmes. I wish the in-coming administration will sustain the legacies we have left behind.”
Modibbo expressed the desire to serve again in any capacity if re-appointed as he claimed to still have so much passion to effect positive changes in the nation.

“I am ready for service to my fatherland when called without hesitation. One of the presidents I served with will always say minister before, minister today and minister hmmm… You never can tell what God has in store for us.”
The newly appointed supervising Minister for the FCT, Mr. Remi Babalola said his appointment was another call to national service, as a responsible and patriotic Nigerian.

“I will endeavour to put in my best efforts. Let me place on record the tremendous efforts and zeal exhibited in the administration of the FCT by the out-going Minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar and the Minister of State, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe.
“The position of the Federal Capital Territory has always been unique, given the vision of the founding fathers. The uniqueness of managing the FCT derives from being a cross between a ministry and a state administration,” he said.

According to him, the major concern of all Nigerians over the years, and which all previous administrations have had to contend with, was the need to restore the Abuja Master Plan.
“We are all aware of the various challenges faced by previous administrations in this regard. It is my sincere wish to ensure that this original Master Plan is maintained.
“Every dimension of it will be carefully analysed and strictly implemented, to ensure that Abuja remains a pride, not only to Nigeria, but to the entire African continent.”

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Comments (1)

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.