Sunday, September 15, 2013
Jonathan asks PDP to compile ministerial nominees list
the Bamanga Tukur faction of the Peoples Democratic Party to compile
names of its members for minsiterial positions.
A member of the National Working Committee of the faction, who made
this known toThe PUNCH in Abuja on Sunday, said the directive was
already being complied with.
Jonathan, in his first major cabinet shake-up since his inauguration
on May 29, 2011, had on Wednesday sacked nine ministers.
The sacked ministers were Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai (Education),
Okon Ewa-Bassey (Science and Technology), Olugbenga Ashiru (Foreign
Affairs), Hadiza Mailafia (Environment), Shamsudeen Usman (National
Planning),and Ama Pepple (Housing, Lands and Urban Development).
Also affected were Olusola Obada(Defence), and her counterparts in
the Agriculture Ministry, Alhaji Bukar Tijani, and Power, Zainab
The Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, had explained that the
sacking of the ministers had no political undertone but there were
reports that it was fallout of the crisis in the PDP.
The PDP was factionalised on August 31 when seven of its governors
formed a faction, known as New PDP.
The NWC member, who pleaded anonymity, said, "The President has
directed the party to suggest names for the vacant ministerial slots.
We have already asked our state chapters to send their nominees to
us. As I talk to you, we are waiting for their nominees."
It was gathered that in states governed by the seven governors in
the New PDP, politicians loyal to the President, would nominate
candidates for vacant slots.
In Rivers State, where Pepple lost her job, party chieftains,
including the Deputy National Chairman of the Tuku-led faction, Uche
Secondus and the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, would
play a role in getting her replacement.
In the South-West, there are two vacancies because of the removal of
Ashiru and Obada.
It was gathered that chieftains of the PDP, Chief Olabode George and a
financier of the party, Chief Buruji Kasamu, were expected to nominate
candidates for the zone.
In Kaduna State, the southern part of the state would fill the vacancy
created by the sack of Mailafia.
In Niger State, it was learnt that a former military dictator, Gen.
Ibrahim Babangida and an ex-Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana,
might nominate an indigene of the state to replace Kuchi.
It was also gathered that, to fill the vacant ministerial slots,
governors that were loyal to the President had been directed to
nominate candidates, if there were vacancies in their states.
The PUNCH learnt that the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Obong Godswill
Akpabio, would nominate a chieftain of the party in the state to
replace Ewa-Bassey, a native of the state.
When asked to comment on the development, the PDP National Publicity
Secreary, Chief Olish Metuh, said, "That is not important. It is the
President that will choose whoever he wants to work with him to
achieve his transformation agenda."
The Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters,
Senator Joy Emodi, had on Friday said Jonathan was still consulting on
the appointment of new ministers.
She had said, "He is still consulting. He will present the list to the
National Assembly as soon as he concludes his consultations."
Meanwhile, investigations on Sunday revealed that security reports
were mostly responsible for the sack of the ministers.
A Presidency source told one of our correspondents that following the
crisis in the PDP, the Presidency could no longer trust the affected
The source said, "The ministers were nailed by security reports.
Their telephone lines were bugged and they were being monitored for at
least four months. It was discovered that they were no longer sincere
with Mr. President, especially since the internal crises in PDP
"Go and find out, no sincere government or President will tolerate a
minister whose loyalty is in doubt. In the case of the affected
ministers, they were having divided loyalties. First, to their state
governors or the godfathers who nominated them and secondly to Mr.
"But by their functions, their loyalty to the President should be
total and so the best option is to shop for people with committed
loyalty and not divided loyalty. This should be a serious lesson to
any public servant; divided loyalty is never tolerated anywhere in the
Efforts to get the reaction of the President's Special Adviser on
Political Affairs, Mr. Ahmed Gulak, prooved abortive as he could not
be reached through his mobile telephone.
A civil rights organisation, the Anti-Corruption Network, has,
however, described the sacking of the ministers as vindictive.
The Executive Secretary of the group and former member of the House of
Representatives, Dino Melaye, in an interview with one of our
correspondents, linked the sacking to the crisis in the PDP.
He said, "The sacking of the ministers is vindictive, petty and
political. It shows that President Jonathan, like I have always
said, condones, romances and promotes corruption. He spared all the
corrupt thieves in his government, including those who are still busy
enjoying their loots.
"The sacking of these ministers is a cowardly reaction. The former
Minister of Education was a nominee of the Jigawa State Governor. The
ex-minister of National Planning is from Kano State and it is
because Jonathan wants to appoint a strong politician who will fight
Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso in Kano State."