By Emmanuel Elebeke
In line with the Presidential directives that all the ministers should hand over to the Permanent Secretaries on or before 28th May, the minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammad yesterday officially handed over to the Permanent Secretary in the ministry.
The minister who attributed his achievements to the supportive staff and team of advisers, both from his aides and the ministry said with the successful ouster of the old forces in control of Kwara politics, he had proven to the world that it is possible to win elections without a Godfather.
He praised all Kwarans who joined forces with him to rescue the state from the grip of the hegemony.
‘‘When in November 17, 2018 I was told that we were going to have a by-election in Ekiti Irekpo/Irekpo Idosin federal constituency, I was mortified, afraid because up till then, the believe everywhere was that Kwara state belonged to somebody.
‘‘But with God on our side and I do not own personal reputation to be able to convince the world that it was possible to win elections without somebody. And that was what actually helped us in the last general elections. I have a very soft spot for him because he made me proud and realise my ambition.’’
Handing over a dossier of his achievements to the Permanent Secretary, the minister said the document chronicled all that he achieved both locally and abroad within the last three and half years he has been in office.
Mohammed, who was earlier commended by heads of parastatals under the ministry for his doggedness and professionalism in delivery his duties urged staff of the ministry to cooperate with whoever that succeeds him as the new minister of information and Culture.
‘‘I have largely enjoyed the support of the staff of this ministry and industrial harmony, thanks to the warmed relations with the unions. Without this industrial harmony, whatever we have achieved could not have been possible. I received very exemplary and prime cooperation from all my staff and parastatals. I wish them well as we leave.
‘I leave you with my best wishes and sincere hope that you will extend to my successor the same support and cooperation that you have extended to me. I enjoin you to continue to do your best as this administration works hard to revamp our economy, fight corruption to standstill and tackle insecurity.’’
‘‘I will not bore you with the list of what we have achieved within this three and half years. We have chronicled our achievements and challenges in the hand over note entitled the Stewardship of Alhaji. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, 2015-2019.
‘‘This publication tries to chronicle what did in three and had years, both locally and abroad in the area of information, culture and tourism. In the end, it is the little contribution of all of us that will make the difference,’’ he added.
Earlier in his goodwill message, the director general of NTA, Yakubu Ibrahim described the minister as an achiever and who had forged a civilized relationship that sustained basis for the achievements so recorded.
He posited that the minister will come back to lead us to the promise land.
In her own goodwill message, the director of International Tourism, Mrs. Ronke Fasanya commended to minister for showing leadership to all the parastatals and urged him to remain focused in his future endeavour.