APC Fever: President Jonathan might fire more ministers



JonathanThere is the possibility that President Jonathan might drop more ministers, as recently learnt.

It is all part of the fallout of the defection of five governors to the All Progressives Congress (APC), according to sources.

Ministers are also under pressure to either align with the President’s 2015 aspiration or be shown the way out.

But some ministers, who are professionals, are not keen on being drawn into politics, especially in their states where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is factionalised.

Of President Goodluck Jonathan’s 42-man cabinet, 11 left due to either sack or voluntary resignation.

It was, however, learnt that some ministers associated with PDP governors or leaders, who have defected to the APC, might be relieved of their appointments unless they make their position known.

The Presidency is yet to recover from the shock of last Tuesday’s merger of the New PDP with the APC, according to sources.

According to sources, the President met with his strategists, key PDP leaders and Senate President David Mark, on Wednesday and Thursday on how to deal with the challenge posed by the APC.

Although some harsh steps were suggested, it was learnt that Mark insisted on the rule of law to manage the situation.

A source said Mark claimed that it would be difficult for him to declare the seats of senators who have joined APC vacant since they are yet to form the Senate leadership of their action.

Having reached a brick wall, it was gathered, the President’s strategists came up with four options to tackle the APC challenge.

The options are:

•engaging those who defected in legal battles to declare their seats vacant;

•sponsoring political dissidents in their states;

•creating legal and political hurdles for anyone with a case or their relations; and

•ridding the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the defectors’ loyalists.

It was learnt that the cleansing of FEC of those loyal to APC leaders is one of the immediate options on the card.

A top source said: “The battle line has been drawn. Ministers are now left with the option of either identifying with PDP and the President’s cause or seeking refuge elsewhere.

“Some ministers and board members may be dropped because those who nominated them have defected to the APC. The alternative is for such people to openly denounce their godfathers or be shown the way out.

“Although some of the ministers have performed but Jonathan’s strategists believe they should be asked to go. These strategists do not see defection to APC as a matter of political game; they believe in do-or-die politics.

“The ball is in Jonathan’s court to determine whether he will take to the advice or not.”

The President had earlier sacked some ministers, allegedly linked to the G-7 governors when the New PDP was formed.

They were part of the nine ministers dropped from the cabinet.

Sacked were Olugbenga Ashiru (Foreign Affairs), Hadiza Mailaifa (Environment), Shamsudeen Usman (National Planning), Ama Pepple (Lands, Housing and Urban Development), Rukayyatu Rufai’ (Education) and Ita Ewa (Science and Technology).

The others were Minister of State for Defence Olusola Obada; Minister of State for Power Zainab Kuchi and Minister of State for Agriculture Bukar Tijani.







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