Buhari holds last FEC meeting as Nigeria’s president, says he can’t wait to return to his cattle-rearing in Daura

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President Muhammadu Buhari has presided over a valedictory meeting of the Federal Executive Council, thanking ministers for their loyalty since 2015.

The president on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, also gave a short thank-you address to all members of the State House Staff, at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, Abuja as he said he cannot wait to return to his cattle-rearing business in Daura, Katsina state.

Details of the six-hour meeting held behind closed doors were later disclosed to journalists in a statement signed late Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and a post-FEC briefing anchored by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

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After ministers took turns to express their minds, Buhari thanked them for their steadfastness in pursuing the goals of his regime, urging support for the incoming Bola Tinubu-led administration, even from the outside government.

“I am proud to say we gave our best,” said Buhari.

He directed all cabinet members to return to their ministries, tidy their desks and avoid last-minute rush that could jeopardise their years of work.

He stated, “In the cause of our years together, ranging from our newest addition to the oldest members of the team for the past seven and half years, we have differed on many issues.

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“I urge that we understand that those positions were for the collective good, and no one should keep grievances or carry these differences forward.

“For those of us that will not directly be in government, I know that I am one of such, I ask that we continue to provide our support, in whatever way we can, if called upon by our great party, All Progressives Congress that gave us the platform to stand and we must continue to support it in every way we can,’’ the President said.

Buhari also ascribed the achievements of his regime to God’s intervention, saying “I also thank God for the strength and for keeping us together.’’

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“I will also be happy to do the many things that I have not been able to since May 29th, 2015, one of such is my favourite pastime of taking care of my cattle.’’

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After the meeting, Buhari met State House members of Staff at the forecourt, thanking them for “tolerating” him and assuring them that he had not withheld any benefits that were due them in the past eight years.

“I thank you very much for your cooperation. Thank you for tolerating us as a government and particularly for tolerating me as a leader.

“I tried to lead myself with a clear conscience. Whatever was constitutionally your right according to the conditions of service, this government hasn’t cheated you,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammed, described the atmosphere in the Council Chambers, saying all cabinet members were given a few minutes to describe their time in office.

He also debunked a rumour claiming that FEC had been dissolved, saying the council was still in force.

Mohammed said the President had directed Ministers to continue work in their various offices till May 29, 2023.

“The news that the Federal Executive Council has been dissolved is not correct. We’ve been directed by the President that we should all go back and return to our offices.

“So it is not true that the Federal Executive Council has been dissolved, it is still very much alive. And I’m sure that we’re going to work up till May 29. So please ignore the fake news,” he explained.

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