Buhari preferred Mamora not Osinbajo as vice president, says ex-SGF Mustapha
From the former secretary to the government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha came the startling revelation that former president Muhammadu Buhari wanted Senator Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora to be his running mate.
Mustapha who spoke during a Thank You dinner organised by the Mr Akinbode Oluwafemi led Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) held in Abuja disclosed that Mamora was one of the members of the federal executive council (FEC) that Buhari held in high esteem.
Mustapha however did not expatiate whether Buhari’s preference for Mamora was prior to his second term in office or in the build up to the 2015 poll when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, then national leader of the ruling All progressives Congress (APC) was said to have nominated the former president Prof Yemi Osinbajo to serve as Buhari’s running mate.
Recalling that his path crossed with that of Mamora in his days as the deputy national chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), he explained that Buhari’s decision to appoint Mamora as Minister of Science and Technology, after serving as Minister of State for Health spoke volume of the relationship between them.
Mustapha also referred to the nomination of Mamora to serve as director contact and mobilisation and the deputy director general of the APC campaign council for the 2015 and 2019 polls as testimony of the confidence reposed on Mamora by Buhari.
The Adamawa-born politician described Mamora as a descent man who has no air around him.
He added: “He is simple and an ordinary man. He treats you with every iota of respect. When he spoke at the federal executive council (FEC), we all listen carefully because his analysis of the issues at state are indepth. On each subject matter, he has a contribution to make.
“He is an all rounder. You (Mamora) have served Niger well, you are gift to the nation. We will draw from the reservoir of your knowledge and ability. Don’t see you going into retirement. We believe you would still be called upon to serve again.”
Akinbode who is CAPPA’s Executive Director who conferred the award for lifetime commitment to public health on Mamora expressed appreciation to him on the role he played in the passage of the national tobacco control Act (NTCA).
He also identified the role played by Mamora to control the intake of the sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) and transfats regulation as justification for the conferment of the awards on him by the public health community in the country.
Akinbode called on public office holders and other highly placed Nigerians to emulate Mamora by striving towards entrenching positive change in the country.
Mamora who served as a two term senator recalled that the effort to enact the tobacco control law was a tough battle because lobbyists sponsored by tobacco manufacturers worked tooth and nail to stall the passage of the law at both the Senate and House of Representatives chambers.
Reminiscing his years as Speaker Lagos state House of Assembly, Senator, director general of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and as Minister, he reminded those entrusted with the leadership of the country to leave behind a legacy to be reckoned with as power remains transient.
He added: “Public office is public trust, it’s about service and your ability to influence decision on positive side. Ot is not about perfection but as human beings we must push to make a difference so that when you are no longer there people would have something to say about you positively.”
The occasion was graced by several dignitaries including the former governor of Ogun state, Senator Gbenga Daniel, former women affairs minister, Paulen Tallen, scores of serving and former Ministers, national and states Assembly members, health professionals and civil societies organizations (CSOs).
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