Hammer Falls: As Jonathan Sacks and Appointments!
It is no longer news that come May 29 there will be a replacement at the Aso Villa, what is however news every day, and quite shocking too, is the spate of sacks and appointments by the outgoing President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
In the last six weeks, President Jonathan has sacked more people than he sacked in the last six years. As expected, eyebrows are raising in puzzlement over this rather harsh last minute and spontaneous sacks. Different bodies in the Nation have tried to explain this act that is so unlike the President. Of all the explanations, however, the one that strikes a chord in the heart and mind of many is that the acceptance of defeat by the outgoing President is a ruse and he is unleashing his anger at the officials who did not give him all the support that could have thwarted his defeat.
This assertion is rather harsh and describes the President as ‘vindictive’. Yet, as much as Xclusive Magazine would like to look the other way and try to excuse the President’s actions or in-actions, we are still accosted by the facts staring us down.
Weeks after his defeat, the IGP, Suleiman Abba was the first to have a dose of this Jonathan’s bitter medicine, as he was removed without ceremony by the President and replaced with his deputy Solomon Arase on the grounds of incompetence. Meanwhile, there are reports that Abba was relieved of his duties because he allegedly did not give the president enough support to help him win the elections, and sacking him was out of pure malice and payback.
Little wonder the statement that reported his dismissal, published by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Dr Rueben Abati, was rather brusque and without ceremony. No reasons were given to justify his sack. The nation began to wonder if indeed it was a case of “an eye for an eye.”
Nigerians had barely gotten over the shock and surprise of Abba’s sack when the other sacks began to happen incessantly! It followed with the sack of the Nigerian Ports Authority MD, Habib Abdulahi, and the appointment of Sanusi Lamido’s younger brother; Ado Bayero as replacement in a move that set the media buzzing with speculations. Questions were asked as to the reason behind this sack, particularly, the appointment of Bayero. As always, the answer remains that the president knows best.
Could it be that the President can now see through a crystal glass the faults he probably once overlooked in these people and decided to give them a taste of their own medicine by making sure he removes them all like he was removed? Could it be that there was a standing agreement between the president and these officials? Something like ‘if I lose, you lose’?
What do we say of the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Femi Thomas who has also received the pink slip? Dr. Abati gave no reason for his sack, in a statement issued in Abuja. Meanwhile, the president was quick to replace him with Mr. Olufemi Akingbade of Ekiti in what has been termed as compensation of loyalty!
In a related development, President Jonathan also approved the appointment of Mr. Mounir Haliru Gwarzo as Director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The president did not stop this strings of appointments here, he has also approved the appointment of former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, as chairman of SEC.
While in the most recent development, President Jonathan has just approved the appointment of Asabe Asmau Ahmed as Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
Mrs. Ahmed, who is currently the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, takes over from sacked Sharon Adefunke Kasali, who has been Executive Secretary of PEF since 2007.
Since there are still about three full weeks before final transition of power takes place, it is correct to say that there is fear in the land as public servants are wary of the President lest they join the group of forcefully retired government officials.
While we would like to just fold our arms and believe that the President knows best, we can’t help but wonder where this zeal came from!
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