By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Abuja – The Ministry of Information and Culture has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the re-appointment of Alh. Lai Mohammed as its minister to enable him to complete the job of moving the establishment to the next level.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ms Grace Gekpe, made the call on Monday in Abuja at a Valedictory Session held in Mohammed’s honour.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister, in line with the directive of President Buhari, handed over the running of the ministry to the permanent secretary during the session.
In a remark, Gekpe said that Mohammed had impacted positively on the ministry and its stakeholders through his administrative and professional prowess and therefore deserved to be reappointed.
“He is a man of principle, honour, humility, humour, firmness, expertise, discipline, and courage to mention but a few.
“I wish to use this opportunity to put it on record that the minister, during his tenure, took it upon himself to personally source for funds and financial support for the ministry’s programmes.
“We, the management and members of staff of the ministry, have indeed been opportune to have had him as our principal.
“He has, for the past years, shared with us his many years of wealth of experience, knowledge, wisdom, and service to the nation, which he brought to bear on the sectors
“Against this backdrop and with the mixed feelings, we will surely miss our dear boss and mentor for a short period, but it is my prayer and hope that he will return soon to move the ministry to the next level,’’ she said.
Gekpe said that upon assumption of office, the minister displayed intuitive concern and passion for the growth and development of the information, culture and tourism sectors.
According to the permanent secretary, Mohammed’s penchant for thoroughness, perfection, and hardwork is unequalled.
Speaking in the same vein, Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, Director-General (D-G) of Nigerian Television Authority, said that the minister had a “glorious tenure’’ and forged a “civilised’’ relationship with the parastatal agencies under the ministry.
“The minister forged a relationship that formed the very basis of our successes in the various parastatal agencies that we have.
“I would like to, on behalf of my colleagues, say that the permanent secretary has just spoken our minds – that the minister is just taking a break and he is coming back to complete what he has started.
“Some of us are back to complete what we started; the minister is, therefore, coming back to lead us to the promised land,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the D-G of National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, thanked the minister for the support to all the parastatal agencies under the ministry.
Runsewe also corroborated the permanent secretary and the NTA D-G on the need for the minister to be returned to complete what he started.
The Director, Legal, in the Ministry, Mr J.K. Ehichioya underscored the unenviable position Mohhammed occupied as information minister.
He praised the minister for the expertise and wisdom displayed in discharging the duties even in the midst of opposition and criticism.
Responding, Mohammed thanked the management and members of staff of the ministry for organising the valedictory session and for the support extended to him as minister.
He also thanked his two special advisers, Mr Segun Adeyemi and Mr Williams Adeleye for their contributions.