Bisi Akande, former interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been described as a perfect public officer.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave this commendation on Thursday in Lagos at the public presentation of ‘‘My Participations,” the autobiography of Akande.
Buhari said the author has retained his “inflexible integrity” in and out of public office, never accepting or offering bribes.
He described Akande as a decent, truthful, and friendly person whose leadership qualities made him the unanimous choice as the first national chairman of the APC.
Quoting a famous Hausa saying, ”Labarin zucciya a tambayi fuska” (loosely translated -if you want to know what is in a man’s heart watch his face), Buhari said Akande has a permanent smile on his face, and that “he is the type I will go into the jungle with”.
”My first personal contact with Chief Akande was, if I recall correctly, in 2006 when preliminary consultations were coming to fruition for a grand coalition to unseat the PDP Government,” he said.
”Those efforts eventually came to nothing. ‘Neither he, nor I, nor many of our friends and associates gave up as, in Chief Akande’s words: ‘the country was going down and down under PDP.
”Chief Akande was in the thick of further attempts in 2011 and 2014 to fuse together different groups and dislodge PDP from governance.
”The key to his thinking which coincides with mine is that Nigeria can only be successfully managed by alliances between major groups.
”Although we failed in 2011, but by persistence and knowledge that PDP was driving the country towards disaster, several major parties were able to finally coalesce into APC in 2014.
”Throughout the difficult negotiations, I found Akande truthful, steady and always with an eye to the ultimate goal.”
”In or out of office, he has retained his inflexible integrity. A perfect gentleman. A perfect public officer.”