Outgoing Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for successfully coming to a ceasefire agreement with the Boko Haram insurgents.
He made the commendation in Abuja on Monday during the inspection of quarter guard in his honour to mark his exit as minister of defence.
Obanikoro expressed optimism that the ceasefire agreement would lay to rest the challenge of insecurity in the country.
“I am excited, I am happy and do not forget that things like this do not come easy. A lot of sleepless nights have gone into it, so we must salute Mr President.
“We must commend the President for the courage and the conviction that it is better to have peace than to have war.
“We must also commend all the presidential lieutenants who have assisted in facilitating the process that we are about to get,’’ he said.
Obanikoro thanked the president for the opportunity given to him to serve the nation, adding that he was proud to be a member of the cabinet.
“I pray to God to continue to grant Mr President favour and give him the wherewithal to lead this country beyond 2019,’’ he said.
Obanikoro said that he was resigning his position to run for the 2015 governorship race in Lagos.
He said that he was contesting the governorship office to “liberate the state and rescue it from bondage.”
“Lagos is under bondage, I am a Lagosian and I am committed to the liberation of Lagos. Commercialisation of governance is something we must put an end to,’’ he said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Aliyu Sumaila said that Obanikoro’s exit would create a vacuum that would be difficult to fill.
“As staff we see him as somebody who is result-oriented, one who at any given time wants to add value to whatever he is doing, he is committed to his job.
“He is a patriotic Nigerian, somebody who believes in the leadership of this country, this ministry and the staff. He has provided us with a path and we are following,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obanikoro along with six other ministers have resigned their positions to enable them pursue their political ambitions in their respective states.