By Emman Ovuakporie
SECRETARY to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir David Lawal, yesterday, said the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and Chief Bisi Akande made it possible for him to emerge as a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.
Speaking at a thanksgiving service in his honour, the SGF said the two leaders of the APC played a prominent in his emergence, saying it is fundamentally important for Nigerians to know that goodness is not restricted to tribe, religion or political party.
“My wife has not met Bisi Akande, she has not met Asiwaju, she has not met Buhari, yet we have been with him. But, it is fundamentally important for Nigerians to know that goodness is not restricted to tribe, religion or political party”, he said.
“My opinion is that if you have no investment in human beings and you just invest in yourself, like most politicians present in this church do, you will end up as nothing. If you look at just your community for friendship, or you look at your religion or in the same church with you for friendship, I doubt if you will go any where.
“I am Secretary to the Government today, because those people that I mentioned were the very first to put the idea in the mind of the President. They were the ones that made it possible.
“Because if it has been left to northerners, it is doubtful if they will take a Christian man to make Secretary to the Government of the Federation”.
“But these friends know me, they know that I am not ambitious. I just want to eat today and tomorrow I will find my way. By the grace of God, I am today the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, something I did not look for, people say it is hard work and dedication. It is not true, it is just by the grace of God that the President will just pick you and say this is your position”.
“I never looked for it and I never expected it. I started getting hints to this job just about two to three days to it, and I thought it was a very big joke. Then I used to call it Timipre Silva project or Baba Akande project, when they mentioned that they heard story about it”.
“Last year, if I was told that I will have an occasion where one single governor will attend, I will not believe it, but here we are today, it is the grace of God that has put all of us where we are today. Governors should know that”.
Tinubu lauds appointment
In his speeach at the occasion, Tinubu described the SGF’s appointment as a step in the right direction, expressing optimism that he would bring his wealth of experience to bear in the office.
Tinubu extolled Lawal’s qualities, saying that while some of his contemporaries have succumbed to the temptation of illicit wealth and the abuses of power and privilege, he (Lawal) has remained faithful to the course of the nation.
Alluding to the fact that his appointment was a reward for hard work and selfless service, he said Lawal’s eye for detail and due process makes him the best man for the job.
Tinubu, represented at the event by Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, said, “If you are looking for a man who is diligent in his work with a keen eye for details and correct process, there is none better than Babachir Lawal”.
“He knows this nation and understands its complexities, from the intricacies of our federal bureaucracy to the diversity of our social fabric to the, multiple dimensions of our political dynamics.
“He is a man well-tailored to fit his position in today’s Nigeria where we find ourselves in a situation not meant for the faint hearted. A situation that requires grit, guts and wisdom. These attributes, Lawal has in abundance”.