I nearly turned down Buhari’s ministerial appointment in 2015– Fayemi - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.

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I nearly turned down Buhari’s ministerial appointment in 2015– Fayemi

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Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti state, says he nearly turned down former President Muhammdu Buhari’s ministerial appointment in 2015.

Fayemi served as minister for solid minerals from 2015 – 2018.

In an interview published by ThisDay on Tuesday, Fayemi said his announcement as minister for solid minerals came to him as a surprise, adding that he thought he was going to be appointed minister of foreign affairs.

The former Ekiti governor said he had made up his mind to inform Buhari that he would not take up the appointment because he was “not prepared to mess himself up” as he knew nothing about the solid minerals ministry.

He further said Niyi Adebayo, former minister of industry, trade and investment, along with his wife, persuaded him not to tell Buhari that he would not accept the appointment.

“Before I became a minister, I was director of policy for the presidential campaign and also worked in the transition committee, so I had a comprehensive view of what was going on in the Jonathan administration, but I was not prepared to go to the ministry I was assigned to,” Fayemi said.

“When I was announced as the minister for solid minerals, I must confess, I was surprised. I honestly thought I was going to be minister of foreign affairs, an area in which I was a frontline adviser for President Buhari during the period leading up to the election and before ministers were announced.

 “In fact, I was with President Buhari on his last assignment at the United Nations before the ministerial list was released on the day we returned from the United Nations.

“I got home after we were sworn in and portfolios assigned and told my wife and our leader, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, that I was going to inform President Buhari that I could not take the appointment.

“What do I know about the ministry? It was not even about being a dry or juicy ministry. I was not prepared to mess myself up, after coming this far.

“I thought the ministry should go to a subject matter expert. So, I decided I was not going to take it. But Otunba said, no, that would be selfish and that I must put our people into my consideration.


 “I must take it. He added: “Kayode, your strength is in managing people and resources, and you are going to take it and make a statement. Having managed a whole state, you can manage anything.” And my wife aligned with him.

“But I was still not convinced but at least they stopped me from going to tell President Buhari I was opting out of the cabinet.”


‘I GREW INTO THE JOB’

The former Ekiti governor added that Buhari later explained to him that he deliberately appointed him as minister for solid minerals.

He said that he took the appointment as a challenge and grew into the job.

“Eventually, President Buhari explained to me that he was deliberate in sending me to the ministry because he had three priorities – infrastructure, agriculture and solid minerals development and he wanted excellent hands in the three areas,” Fayemi added.

“I took it up as a challenge and I believe I grew into the job.

“In my three years there, we grew the contribution of solid minerals as a percentage of GDP, developed a comprehensive road map for the sector, started the aero-magnetic survey of the country, which was completed during Architect Adegbite’s tenure, and also conducted the national minerals exploration project amongst many other initiatives.”

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