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North’s governors greet Ahmed Joda at 90, El-Rufai at 60

From Yusufu Aminu Idegu, Jos, Sanni Onogu, Abuja and Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

  • Kaduna governor is reform-minded, says Omo-Agege
  • Obasanjo, Gbajabiamila eulogise ex-FCT minister

The Northern Governors Forum (NGF) has saluted elder statesman, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, on his 90th birthday.

It also felicitated with Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai who clocks 60.

In a statement by its Chairman and Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong, the forum described Joda as one of the few Nigerians who have carved a unique place in the nation’s socio-political landscape, especially in public service.

It said the elder statesman has continued to make tremendous impact by laying good examples in the responsibilities he handled as a permanent secretary, journalist and chairman of many public and private institutions.

The Northern Region, according to the NGF, remains grateful to him for exhibiting uncommon passion for the development of the region and the nation and serving as a role model to younger generations.

NGF said El-Rufai had passed through many challenges in life but demonstrated a high degree of resilience, determination and character to achieve his goals.

It said: “Your passion to serve with excellence is evident in how you have used the opportunities and challenges available to you to as quantity surveyor, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), minister, governor, as well as member of various bodies in public and private sectors to shape policies.

Read Also: El-Rufai made success of our privatization program – Obasanjo

The forum prayed that God will continue to uphold him and his family as he serves the people of Kaduna State and Nigeria with diligence, honesty, compassion and determination.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said El-Rufai made a success of his administration’s privatisation programme between 1999 and 2003, when he was BPE’s Director General.

In a congratulatory message, the ex-President said: “Over the years, I have followed, with keen interest, your modest inspiring career as a professional architect, community leader, administrator and politician. And I note, with special delight your demonstration of rare qualities of commitment and courage in the public service in various capacities.

“Under my watch as a democratically-elected President of Nigeria, you made a great success of our privatisation programme as the Director-General of BPE, which resulted in the liberalisation of our nation’s economy and our being able to meet some of the challenges of globalisation and tackling the problem of poverty in our land.

“I must also applaud the giant strides in terms of infrastructural and socio-economic development which the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), recorded under your focused administration as the Minister of the FCT. I salute the uncommon sense of duty and patriotism demonstrated by you at enhancing sanity in the physical development at the FCT.

“Without any doubt, as the incumbent governor of Kaduna State, you have contributed to the well-being of your people, especially in the implementation of populist programmes and infrastructural development in the state…”

Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege on Sunday said many Nigerians will continue to see El-Rufai as a consistent and reform-minded performer.

In a letter he personally signed on the governor’s 60th birthday, the senator noted that El-Rufai’s noble qualities are being appreciated by Nigerians within and outside Kaduna state.

In a statement on Sunday in Abuja by his Special Adviser (SA) on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, in Abuja, said: “As Kaduna State governor, Malam El-Rufai marks his 60th birthday, his people in Kaduna State and multitude across the federation easily acknowledge his untiring passion for continuous positive transformation – a remarkable reflection of the change that our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) stands for.

“True, under Governor El-Rufai, Kaduna State’s internally generated revenue (IGR) increased from N11.8 billion in 2015 to N26.53 billion in 2017, then to N30 billion in 2018 and then N44 billion in 2019, but the consistency of his progressive antecedent is even much significant.

“True too, he has always been known for a remarkable intellect, but his uncompromising people-focused strivings remain of greater collective relevance.”

House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila also felicitated with the Kaduna State governor.

He described El-Rufai as a visionary leader whose main preoccupation is to make his state greater.

In a statement by his Special Adviser (SA) on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said El-Rufai’s 60 years on earth have been for service to humanity.

“…El-Rufai comes across as a highly patriotic Nigerian whose contributions to nation-building are everywhere for all to see.

“Since his days in the BPE and later as a Minister of the FCT, El-Rufai has always put Nigeria first.

“Today, Kaduna State is witnessing unprecedented infrastructural development, courtesy of El-Rufai’s resolve to make the state, especially the capital city, Kaduna, a modern city.

“As a member of our great party, the APC, El-Rufai has shown, times without number, how committed he is to the growth and development of the party.

“I wish the Kaduna State governor good health and many more happy years on earth.”, he said.

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