President Muhammadu Buhari was the star attraction in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Tuesday as the state celebrated the 40th anniversary of its creation.
Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his wife, Olufunso, played hosts in a celebration that had other eminent personalities like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, members of the Federal Executive Council, monarchs and past governors of Ogun in attendance.
Going back in time, Buhari recalled that Obasanjo appointed him Minister of Petroleum and “tolerated” him for three and half years.
He said: “I express my thanks to General Obasanjo, who, as Head of State, made me Minister of Petroleum and tolerated me for three-and-half-years.
“He tolerated me because God knows and he knows that I am not used to working as hard as he used to, but he allowed me to last that long and allowed me to work.
“If you go into records, that government made so much investment and infrastructural development in the petroleum industry.
“Two refineries were built, Warri and Kaduna. More than 20 depots were built; more than 3,500 pipelines were laid; and we were exporting refined products of 100,000 barrels per day. But what do we have today?”
Buhari lauded Amosun for his people-oriented programmes and prayed that the state would continue “being lucky to have a governor that would look after them.”
The President said the transformation in the state capital was so obvious that although he was posted to
Abeokuta when he was newly-commissioned in the army, he would not be able to trace his way around the town again.
He said: “I have previously, on commissioning of some projects, expressed my gratitude to the governor of Ogun State for inviting me and identifying me with his success.
“On my commissioning in January 1963, my first posting was to Abeokuta, where 2nd Infantry Battalion, Nigerian Army used to be. We were living in wooden flats, which were built in the last war and I was here for some time before I was posted to Lagos.
“But today if you drive me around Abeokuta and you ask me where the barracks is, I assure you that I will get missing. I won’t be able to remember Lisabi Club where we used to sit, those of us who used to drink Fanta and listen to music.
“Your programmes are certainly people-oriented. We have commissioned roads, schools and legal complex headquarters, where I met justices and I made an observation to the governor that women were more than men. I am just wondering that gentlemen, the ladies are taking over in very important profession.”
VIDEO: Buhari, Amosun, Others Cut Anniversary Cake, Unveils Ogun State Flag
The president and other several dignitaries joined governor Ibikunle Amosun to celebrate Ogun state at 40. See photos below…