President Muhammadu Buhari went down memory lane in recalling the role of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his successful political career.
Speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, on Tuesday, Buhari, who was the special guest at the 40th anniversary of the state, said Obasanjo appointed him minister of petroleum and tolerated him for three and half years.
“I express my thanks to General Obasanjo, who, as head of state, made me minister of petroleum and tolerated me for three-and-the-half-years,” he said.
“He tolerated me because God knows and he knows that I am not used to working as hard as he used to, but he allowed me to last that long and allowed me to work.
“If you go into records, that government made so much investment and infrastructural development in the petroleum industry. Two refineries were built, Warri and Kaduna. More than 20 depots were built; more than 3,500 pipelines were laid; and we were exporting refined products of 100,000 barrels per day. But what do we have today?”
Buhari said Ibikunle Amosun, governor of the state, had people-oriented programmes and prayed that the people of the state would continue “being lucky to have a governor that would look after them”.
The president said the transformation in the state capital is so obvious that although he was posted to Abeokuta when he was newly-commissioned in the army, he would not be able to trace his way around the town again.
“I have previously, on commissioning of some projects, expressed my gratitude to the governor of Ogun state for inviting me and identifying me with his success,” he said.
“On my commissioning in January 1963, my first posting was to Abeokuta, where 2nd infantry battalion Nigerian army used to be. We were living in wooden flats, which were built in the last war and I was here for some time before I was posted to Lagos.
“But today if you drive me around Abeokuta and you ask me where the barracks is, I assure you that I will get missing. I won’t be able to remember Lisabi Club where we use to sit, those of us who use to drink Fanta and listen to music.
“Your programmes are certainly people-oriented. We have commissioned roads, schools and legal complex headquarters, where I met justices and I made an observation to the governor that women were more than men. I am just wondering that gentlemen, the ladies are taking over in very important profession.”