September 10, 2008

Kingibe hands over, says ‘I knew I would vacate SGF office one day’

Former Secretary to the Government of Federation, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe
Speaking while handing over to his successor, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, in Abuja, Kingibe said the pictures of his predecessors in his former office served as constant reminders that no position was permanent.

He said, “Every morning that I entered into my office, I looked up at the 14 pictures of my illustrious predecessors hanging on the walls.

“ The pictures of (these) men…all serve as daily reminders that one day, God’s appointed time will come for everyone to leave office. The time for me is now.”

The ex-SGF, who also served notice of his intention to return to active politics, said like Ahmed, he had personal loyalty to the nation and to the President.

He said, “I do not have capital to buy a farm or own a farm. I will continue to do what I know best: mobilising people of goodwill behind our national endeavour to make sure that this country fulfils the promise of greatness through President Yar’Adua.”

Turning to the new SGF, he said, “As you know, it was Yar’Adua alone who took the decision to appoint me. This singular consideration was always uppermost in my mind in all my actions and will abide with me always.”

He described Ahmed as a worthier and more meritorious successor.

“I know your experience, capabilities, dedication to duty and tenacity in the pursuit of set goals,” he the former SGF said.

‘These qualities and those of patriotism, love, and personal loyalty to the President which we both share, have more than well prepared you for this office and the onerous responsibilities that go with it,” he added.

Responding, Ahmed described the handover as emotional.

“Never in my life have I come to an assignment as difficult and emotional like this,” he sdaid.

He said as a brother, he would continue to tap into Kingibe’s wisdom.

The new SGF, who until his appointment was the Minister of Defence, promised to serve the Yar’Adua administration to the best of his ability.

Kingibe was removed on Monday by Yar’Adua shortly after his return from Saudi Arabia. punch ng.

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