A delegation of political, religious and business leaders from Gombe State, led by Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, was at the presidential villa yesterday to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for facilitating the discovery of oil in commercial quantity in Kolmani area.
President Buhari jocularly thanked the Gombe elders for thanking him for doing his job. “Thank you for coming to say thank you to me for doing my job. Thank you for appreciating the efforts,” a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying.
Going down memory lane, the president recalled that when he served as Petroleum minister for over three years in the 70s he “developed the feasibility studies, believing it would further stabilize our polity.
“So, you should congratulate yourselves, rather than me for the oil find,” he added .
On the political situation in the country preceding the 2023 general elections, Buhari said off-season elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States have shown that the government respects Nigerians, “and would allow them to choose their own leaders without interference or manipulation.”
He also said irrespective of what some people say, the administration he led had made strides in stabilising the security situation in the country, reviving and diversifying the economy, and fighting corruption.
President Buhari described the visit as a “morale booster.”
Leader of the delegation, Governor Inuwa, said Gombe people came to express “profound appreciation and gratitude for the successful flag-off of the Kolmani oil project.”
He added that such gigantic project was a milestone for the entire country, “as it will enhance our socio-economic fortunes, create jobs, and benefit farmers, business people, indeed, everyone.”
Governor Yahaya assured of community support for the venture, promising that along with Bauchi State, where the oil field is jointly situated, “we will ensure success of the project.”
He said President Buhari has done his best for the country despite the tumultuous time in which he served, and history would be kind to him.
He appreciated the president for other projects in the State like takeover of the airport by the federal government, siting of an Air Force Base, a Federal Polytechnic, among several others.
“We will remember you forever. You have left footprints that are indelible. History will be kind to you on efforts you made, despite the difficult times,” the governor said.
In his remarks, the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar lll, described the Kolmani project as “historic, never to be forgotten by our people.”
He pledged that there would be no conflict between Gombe and Bauchi States, as the traditional institution would mobilise the people positively.