For Minister Wale Edun, I Doff My Cap

The monthly meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) can be very absorbing and didactic, yet tasking. But yesterday’s virtual session was more revealing, giving an inside picture of the character and true nature of one of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s lieutenants, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun.

At the end of the 140th meeting of the Council, the Chairman of NEC, Vice President Kashim Shettima, announced a press conference, listing key ministers, including the Minister of Finance, to brief the press.

Unfortunately, Minister Edun was missing in action, though he was still in the line of duty. He had another crucial meeting with the President and dashed off to see the Commander-in-Chief. However, he put a call to the Vice President’s media office and promised to come and address the press afterward.

True to his word, the Minister reappeared later that evening. Here’s a man, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy no less, who clearly had a jam-packed schedule. In a rare show of humility, Minister Edun hustled his way back to the Vice President’s office, after his meeting with the President, to address the press.

That, my friends, is dedication. It speaks volumes about the true nature and character of the man’s work ethic as well as commitment to public accountability. Edun, with a calm authority, communicated the state of our economy.

As he stepped unannounced into my “little office” in the Vice President’s wing his presence left me awestruck. I jumped to my feet enthralled and as I quickly made out to lead him upstairs to a “befitting” venue where he could comfortably brief the press without him feeling nostalgic about his “cozy” office. But the Minister threw it back at me: “What is wrong with your office? Let’s use here. I’m good to go! And just before one could say Hello, he had eased into my chair and began addressing the press.

Undoubtedly, this made an impact on me instantly. Minister Edun’s sense of service is second to none. What a cautious mien! But it wasn’t just his competence that impressed me. The way the minister carried himself. His calm, reassuring demeanor – polite and courtly – was instructive.

In a world of political spectacle and make-believe, Wale Edun stood out yesterday. He reminded me that there are still those in power who understand the importance of their role, and who are willing to go the breadth and length of every circumstance for the people they serve. And for that, I sincerely thank him.

Indeed, loads of great personas exist in President Tinubu’s administration. May God continue to bless each and every one of them as they continue to serve this country diligently!

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