Amina J. Mohammed’s emotional speech as she steps down as Nigeria’s Environment Minister

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday held an emotional valedictory session for the outgoing Minister of Environment, Amina J. Mohammed.

The outgoing minister had served President Buhari’s administration for fifteen months and set to resume her duties at the UN headquarters in New York, in March. She attended her last council meeting on Wednesday where she was celebrated by her colleagues.

At the valedictory session chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, her fellow ministers got emotional as she endlessly struggled to stop her tears from flowing.

Amina J. Mohammed’s  minister of state for environment, Ibrahim Jibril, who was unable to hold back his tears said the past 15 months have been one of excitement working with a near perfect team leader. According to him Mohammed has added “value to what we do in Nigeria”.

The Budget minister, Udoma Udoma said, “she always struck us as capable, very focus, dogged and determined; very polite but stood her ground. Initially, we thought we could intimidate her but it was not possible.”

The communications minister, Adebayo Shittu, said she was second to none on her job. He added, “some of us started learning on the job but she was a master”.

Others that spoke at the valedictory session included the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Aisha Alhassan; Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Ms. Aisha Abubakar; and the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

Amina Mohammed, 56, had served as the UN under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning.

Part of her speech:

“I will like to start by thanking Allah (Subhanahu Wa Taala) for the grace to be here and to serve.

For the Acting President, I will like for you to express my deepest gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari our leader. He is not here today but he is in our hearts and in our prayers. He gave me the opportunity to (Amina stock.ed).

Mr. Acting President, your kindness and your support, you are always there whenever I’ve been to you. From actually before I became a minister and meet you at … has been absolutely exemplary. The stairs became slower but I know today I didn’t do very well because the secretariat as me to write everything I said; so not quite there but I promise I will try to speak slower on the 38 floor.

Chief of staff, I have to say my “wahala” has been great to you and I thank you for the patient of not shutting the doors and leaving it open whenever I came. Even when I’m sure you are hoping to just lock it but thank you, thank you, and thank you for that support.

I know that Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Head of Service, you’ve also born with me and I thank you for that.

My real gratitude goes to the colleagues around this table and some are not here today. And we want to remember James Ocholi.

Let me just say that your family become familiar to me and every one of you have touched my life.

My sisters Muhammadu Ramat thank you. Minister of Foreign affair whom I know speaks better grammar than I do, the sendoff with my sister Kadija and I can’t, just to say it last but absolutely not the least my co-conspirator, co-pilot, fried and brother, Minister of State for Environment too is going to do so much better job than I have ever done because without him I would not have done the things I’ve done. He has always not being behind me but beside me.

Often advise but sometimes I have not take that advise and am sure he has taken his breath.


Amina J Mohammed: Amina J Mohammed: Amina J Mohammed


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