FORMER Cross Akwa Ibom State governor, Obong Victor Attah, has described the late former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman, as a “consummate team player, who was always gallant in victory and gracious in defeat.”
Attah in a tribute said “I received with great shock and sadness the loss of a long term personal friend, a great Nigerian who served in every capacity with unequalled competence and integrity. Alhaji Lukman even so early in life, had demonstrated the attributes of great leaders – courage, fairness, intelligence and patience from which our dear country, Nigeria, as well as the Organisation of Petroleum Producing Countries, OPEC, and, indeed, the entire world, would benefit immensely for several years.
“Later, he assisted me, when, as the governor of Akwa Ibom State, we floated a company to apply for the rights to the exploration and production of a marginal field in the state – as one of the dividends of democracy to our people. This gesture, by Alhaji Lukman made it possible for Akwa Ibom State to become the first oil producing state to obtain such rights.
“Even when former President Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to block the award to the state by insisting that the state-owned company must satisfy the Federal Character Principle, it was Alhaji Lukman who saved the day by telling the former President, ‘I am sure Obong Attah will work out something,’ before Obasanjo approved the arrangement.”