Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday presided over a valedictory session in honour of the outgoing Minister of Environment Amina, Mohammed, who has been appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
A source at the meeting informed the State House press corps that several of the cabinet ministers could not control their emotions, as they wept openly at the event.
A video recording of the valedictory session seen by reporters that cover the Presidential Villa in Abuja showed that Mrs. Mohammed also could not control her emotions, as she was moved to tears by the farewell messages from her colleagues.
In his remarks, Osinbajo, who described the outgoing minister as a role model to millions of youths across the country, lauded her contributions to the government and the society at large.
He announced that a special valedictory dinner would be held in her honour today.
“We have always been very fascinated by her incredible understanding of so many different things.
“It’s actually quite amazing that we have one person who seems to know so much, who is competent in practically everything: finance, planning, environment and even law sometimes,” he said.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed added that Mrs. Mohammed had made the nation proud, saying the only consolation was that she is leaving to assume higher responsibilities.
According to him, Nigerians are confident that she is going to succeed in her new assignment at the UN.
Others that spoke at the valedictory session included the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan; Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Ms. Aisha Abubakar; and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
Amina Mohammed, 56, had served as the UN Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning.
She was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Before joining the UN, Mohammed worked for three successive civilian administrations in Nigeria, serving as the Special Adviser to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).