Adebayo Shittu, the saki-born immediate-past Minister of Communication, said that he was shocked when his name was not included in President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list.
Mr Shittu, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said although he did not expect that he would not be reappointed, as a Muslim, he took it as his fate.
The ex-minister said: “I took it the way it came.”
NAN reports that Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had, on July 23, read out the names of 43 ministerial nominees sent by President Buhari to the lawmakers for confirmation at the upper house.
While the list contained 14 former ministers, 29 new names and seven females, 18 ex-ministers did not make the list, including Mr Shittu.
“Of course, I expected that I will be reappointed (as a minister) 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.
“And 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.
“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 half years cannot be purchased from the stores or from the market,” he said.
He said as a public officer, one must always have it in one’s mind that “whatever has a beginning will necessarily have an end.”
“And it is not how long one stays in public office but how well you are able to distinguish yourself,” he said.
The ex-minister, who is a legal practitioner, said he had decided to fall back to his profession.
“I want to thank God that I am one politician who has a second address in the sense that, if I am not a minister, I will be doing some other productive things which will also contribute to national development.
“Of course, I would have wished that I have other opportunities to serve. I believe the chapter of my public service is not closed.
“By the grace of God, I will continue to be relevant in national development.
“As a lawyer of about 40 years, I now have my chambers opened in Abuja. So now, I am back in practice,” he said.
Mr Shittu, who thanked God for the opportunity to serve as minister, also thanked the president for the appointment.
“I have been a local politicians for almost 40 years before the opportunity to serve at the national level.
“I really appreciate it and I want to say that I am eternally grateful to Mr President.
“So for me to have been in office for three and half years, I think it is a rear privilege for which I will continue to thank God and to continue to thank Mr President,” he said.
NAN reports that Mr Shittu was the youngest lawmaker at the age of 26 to be elected a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in 1979.
The former minister, who skipped the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), had aspired for the governorship seat of Oyo State in the last election but was disqualified by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).