This Day (Lagos)

16 March 2014

Nigeria: My Sack Was Expected, Says Ex-Sports Minister

The immediate past  Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi Saturday declared that, his sack from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) by President Goodluck Jonathan was not far from normal expectation of any political appointees.

Abdullahi who arrived Ilorin, Kwara state capital yesterday to a rousing welcomed at the Ilorin International Airport, also thanked Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed for standing by him during the difficult time.

According to him,"The day you are appointed, you should always expect that you will leave some day, you can be appointed today and you can be removed tomorrow.

"What matters is not how long you have stayed but what you are able to do. For me I have nothing but joy and gratitude to Almighty Allah for the opportunity I have had to serve and what God has made possible for me to achieve within the time I was Minister.

Abdullahi said: "If you are occupying an appointive position and then you don't expect that you can be removed any day, then you are probably...for me, I am a Muslim. The holy prophet Mohammed said you should live every day as if it is your last. As a Minister I have always expected my last day. So I wasn't shocked or anything."

The former minister stated further that, "What else will I say your Excellency, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, apart from to say that the Almighty Allah will reward you for the love that you have shown to me today. I have never seen anything like this in my life, in my wildest imagination, I did not expect that a day like this will come.

He said,"As I stood in the vehicle waving to the tumultuous crowd all the way from the Airport to the Emir's place, I kept asking myself, what is it that I have done to deserve this?

"That is why your Excellency, I want to thank you very sincerely, you are my brother, you are my friend and I am not thanking you only for this day, I am thanking you for standing by me throughout the very difficult period."

At every point time, Abdullahi said: "Everal time I came close to walking away but your Excellency, you always encourage me and tell me to hang on there and to hang on there. I thank you very much and I pray that Almighty Allah will continue to keep you, will continue to abide by you and will never bring you down.

He added,"And through you I want to thank all the people of Kwara state for the show of love, all the people that came out to welcome me today, I don't think I know one per cent of them, I don't think I have in any way done anything for one per cent of them. So I want to thank you very sincerely".

Also speaking, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Abdulfatah described Abdullahi as the best Sports Minister Nigeria has ever had, saying he left when the ovation was loudest.

According to him, "I was not surprised by Abdullahi's achievements because he is a man of quality and the state is proud of him. Today, we are welcoming home our own illustrious son who by all standards up till today is the best Minister of Sports to have ever served in Nigeria."

"We are indeed very happy to receive you home today. For some of us we are not surprised about what you have done because you have always demonstrated that you are a man of quality, a man of target and a man of focus," the governor added.

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