FORMER communications minister Adebayo Shittu has expressed surprise that he was not re-appointed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet which has just been reconstituted despite being at the centre of a dispute when he was last in office.
Last year, Mr Shittu was the subject of a lot of controversy after it emerged that he did not participate in the mandatory one year National youth Service Corp (NYSC) programme upon graduating from university. As a result screening committee of his All Progressives Congress (APC) decided not to accept his bid to run for the governorship of Oyo State and his name was dropped from the full list of aspirants cleared to contest in the party primaries.
After failing to get the ticket, Mr Shittu was hopeful of being re-appointed as a minister but last week, President Buhari swore-in his new cabinet and he was not involved. Mr Shittu said that he was shocked when his name was not included but as a Muslim, he took it as his fate.
Mr Shittu added: “Of course, I expected that I will be reappointed but when it didn’t happen, as a Muslim, it didn’t take me five minutes before I accepted that what has come, it’s the will of God. I have also found comfort in a Quranic verse when God promised that what is to come later is better than what is with you now.
“So for me, it says we must accept that there is always something better with God which he gives to his beloved as I see myself as a beloved of God. I have come a long way and I have served at the state and national levels and the experience that I have garnered over the last three-and-a-half years cannot be purchased from the stores or from the market.”
Now that he is out of politics, the ex-minister, who is a legal practitioner, said he had decided to fall back to his profession. Mr Shittu, who thanked God for the opportunity to serve as minister, also thanked the president for the appointment.
He added: “As a lawyer of about 40 years, I now have my chambers opened in Abuja, so now, I am back in practice. I have been a local politicians for almost 40 years before the opportunity to serve at the national level, so I really appreciate it and I want to say that I am eternally grateful to Mr President.
Mr Shittu was the youngest Nigerian lawmaker in the Second Republic, voted into office at the age of 26, when he was elected as a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in 1979. He claimed that he skipped the NYSC programme so he could serve in the Oyo State House of Assembly.