Governors of Kaduna and Plateau States, Nasir El-Rufai and Simon Lalong, have lauded the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his selfless service to Nigeria, as he marked his 55th birthday.
A statement by management of the ministry, said the birthday was marked by a Zoom conference anchored by a former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside on Wednesday.
El-Rufai praised Amaechi for his great personality which according to him, made President Muhammadu Buhari to love him in spite of all oppositions against him.
According to him, Amaechi is the first Minister in Nigeria history to hold the position of the Minister of Transportation twice and is able to achieve so much within the period due to his unique qualities of inclusiveness.
“President Buhari loves Amaechi like a son, he trust him absolutely which is why in spite of all opposition, many attempts to put Amaechi in bad light, he twice selected him to lead his campaign and also as the Minister of Transportation.
“Amaechi’s key leadership quality is his sense of inclusion, he likes to bring everyone on board, he loves teamwork, he empowers people to put in their best, he doesn’t pretend to know it all or try to do everything.
“He is one of the few politicians from the Niger Delta that is Pan Nigeria.
“I think in the history of Nigeria there hasn’t been any Minister of Transportation that has being able to achieve the landmark Amaechi has achieved in a very difficult circumstances.
“I am very proud of you, am very proud to be associated with you, I am a beneficiary of your friendship, your love and your generosity.
“You have helped me alot in my campaign, you have raised money for me, you have given me ideas on how to be a better politician and I have learnt alot from you.
“I am confident that if and when Nigeria is looking for a leader that will take us to a higher level, you will be up there on the frontline among those that will be counted,” El-Rufai said.
Also, Lalong, while appreciating organisers of the zoom Conference, regretted that the birthday could not be celebrated as usual due to the pandemic.
He said: “Today I want to congratulate Amaechi. I met him in 2000 when I was lucky to be selected as a speaker, the first reception I received from him was very wonderful and I saw in him a model.
“I grew up to learn that model on how to lead the house from him, because when I came onboard as a speaker, I didn’t have much experience but my little stay with him taught me alot of things.
“I learnt how to gather people together, how to serve the people, how to be very selfless and how to accommodate everybody.
“Amaechi started the Conference of Speaker and led all the speakers as a team.
“In terms of administration, he sets a goal and ensures he achieves it. One other striking thing about him is very selfless nature, he can sacrifice anything that he has for a friend,” he said.
Lalong prayed that God continue to reward and strengthen Amaechi, adding that the sky will be his limit.
The Minister of State for Health, Mr Olorunimbe Mamora, said that he was very happy to be part of Amaechi’s 55th birthday celebration.
According to Mamora, Amaechi have had the grace of God to hold so many leadership positions from Speaker, to Governor, to Chairman Governors Forum and to Minister.
He reiterated the unique qualities that stood Amaechi out among which were selflessness, passionate, reliable, kind and a very courageous person.
Meanwhile, Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President also lauded the good qualities of Amaechi, adding that he was very happy to have met him when he (Adesina) was the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors.
“When he was a Governor, I became President of Nigeria Guild of Editors and he supported us in every way, we had many of our conferences in Port Harcourt, we had many of our standing committee meetings in Port Harcourt.
“I am glad to know you, as you turn 55, I can only wish you well, you have a long way to go politically and in the leadership position in this country, you have my wishes and support all the time,” Adesina added.
It was reported that the zoom birthday conference had several distinguished personalities including musicians and Comedians to light up the day in spite of the Covid 19 pandemic.