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Published On: Sun, Sep 22nd, 2013

More Ministers to Go, as Lobbyist Struggle over Ministerial Appointments

President Goodluck Jonathan

LAGOS SEPTEMBER 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)-As the crisis within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deepens, there are strong indications that President Goodluck Jonathan may sack more ministers and aides in continuation of his push to reposition his administration.
The next round of changes is reported to be focusing on performance index, rather than mere political yardsticks said to have played vital part in previous reshuffle.

There is mounting anxiety among ministers and top aides of the president, a top source told Sunday Tribune.
The fear of further sack is coming at a time lobbyists are deploying all means to secure the ministerial nominations in the 10 states already affected by the last cabinet shake-up.
President Jonathan is said to be worried about recent leakages in some ministries as well as the failure of some ministers to meet up with the performance contract they signed.
He is said to be unhappy about some ministers who have abandoned their ministerial duties to pursue governorship ambitions, among others distractions.
A friend of the president said the number one citizen promised that there would be further changes in the next few days.
“The president is angry over weak chains within the cabinet. He vowed that there would be further changes. Nobody is sure of where the axe will fall. But it is clear that more ministers and advisers will go,” he said.
It was gathered that the president is worried more about performance issue now, than the deepening crisis within his party.
Said the source, “the man is focusing more on delivery in key sectors of the economy, as he said that was where he could not afford to fail.
“He believes that the crisis within the party will be resolved, but that if he gets distracted on policies and programmes of government, that is where the problem will be.”
However, contrary to reports, Sunday Tribune was told that the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadome, still enjoys the confidence of the president, despite reports that the Edo-born politician was about to lose his job.
“There is anxiety everywhere, but Oghiadome is holding on firmly. The man laughs at the rumour of his sack and believes his principal has no problem or disagreements with him. The man called the reports of his imminent sack part of the psychological warfare the opposition was waging against the Jonathan Presidency,” the source noted.
Meanwhile, while ministers and advisers are frantically pushing to save their jobs, those eyeing ministerial positions are intensifying efforts to ensure their nomination in the new list the president is expected to announce after returning from his USA trip.
Investigations by Sunday Tribune showed that in the 10 states affected by the recent reshuffle, the angling for the ministerial slot has helped to strengthen the camp of the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP. Reports indicated that since the reshuffle, the number of bigwigs moving over to the Tukur camp has increased.
The situation is said to be so dramatic in Kano, Sokoto and Jigawa states, where some party chiefs are already dissociating themselves from the New PDP because of the expected cabinet appointments.
Said a source: “We are having more loyalists; many are coming to pledge allegiance. But we think some are doing that for political reasons. They want the big job; they want to be nominated as ministers from their states.”
It was, however, learnt that the president is not giving much room for lobbyists, unlike in similar scenario in the past. The fear of sack gripping those inside is said to have muddled up the water for those seeking appointments as ministers.
Source:Sunday Tribune

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