Updated: March 6, 2021
WASHINGTON – Nigerians are celebrating the appointment of a British Nigerian as minister in the administration of the new British prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Commendations have come from far and near across Nigeria following the appointment of Undersecretary Olukemi Badenoch.
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President Muhammadu Buhari commended the appointment of Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch, a United Kingdom-born Nigerian as Minister of Children and Families by the new British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Describing her appointment as “well-deserved,” the President urged the 39-year to regard her new position as an opportunity to justify the confidence reposed in her by making lasting impact.
The Nigerian leader, who said he had no doubt that Badenoch would succeed given her academic qualifications and parliamentary experience, also enjoined the junior minister to see herself as an ambassador of her fatherland in conduct and performance.
Acknowledging that Badenoch’s appointment is a plus for Nigerians in Diaspora, President Buhari said “it further confirms my belief that with hard work and integrity, Nigerians can excel in their chosen professions and fields of endeavour anywhere in the world.”
The President, while also applauding Prime Minister Johnson for finding Badenoch suitable, wished her success in the new challenging role.
In a statement, former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said he was proud of her.
He wrote: “I commend and celebrate British Prime Minister, Mr. Boris Johnson, for appointing a British citizen of Nigerian heritage as a minister in his government
“Your cabinet has a lot to teach the world. With an average age of 47, it is the UK’s youngest ever cabinet, and with over 25% minority representation, it is one of the world’s most diverse governments. It is also a gender balanced administration, with 24% female representation. Putting together such a well represented government is a testament to your ability to connect, include and unite.
“Like I said in both my private and public messages to you, I am confident that under your leadership, Anglo-Nigerian relationships will be greatly strengthened.
“Let me also congratulate Mrs. Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch on her appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families. I have repeatedly said that Nigerians, especially her youth, are natural leaders, with advanced intellect and abilities. I said this when I congratulated Kelechi (Kaycee) Madu on being made a minister in Canada and Mrs. Badenoch only corroborates my assertions.
“I urge Nigerians all over the world to note that global leaders acknowledge that we are hardworking people, with a community spirit that we take wherever we go. Nigerian youths are not lazy as is shown from these appointments, and I look forward to the day that we can show by our youth representation in Nigeria’s government, that they are as appreciated at home as they are abroad”.