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Sunday, 10 September 2017

All Progressives Congress (APC) and close allies of President Muhammadu Buhari have repeatedly advised him to reshuffle the Federal Executive Council.

Stakeholders in the polity, particularly members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and close allies of President Muhammadu Buhari have repeatedly advised him to reshuffle the Federal Executive Council.

Several news reports had suggested that Vice-President Prof. Yemi  Osinbajo, while for President Muhammadu Buhari sought the permission of his principal to reshuffle the Federal Executive Council, and  that Osinbajo during one of his visits to the President in London last month presented a list of proposed ministers.

According to sources within the presidency, President Muhammadu Buhari asked his Osinbajo to tarry a while until he returned to the country, as he (Buhari) said that since the administration was midway into its tenure, it would be the only opportunity to reshuffle the cabinet.

However, some ministers who sensed the impending sack have been lobbying the President through  governors and other close allies of the president, to either retain their ministries or be moved to other ministries that they deem more “important”.

The situation has caused an air of uncertainty among his ministers who do not know if they are staying on or may be replaced.

Nevertheless, baring any last minute change, the much anticipated mid-term reshuffle of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will be done early September when official duties would resume after the public holiday declared to celebrate eid-el Kabir festival.

LEADERSHIP gathered that the President has concluded plans to address some imbalance in his government as the administration enters a very crucial part of its four-year mandate with political activities ahead of the 2019 general elections.

As part of the imminent cabinet reshuffle, sources revealed that the President will name a new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, with the current Minister of Transport and former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi highly favoured for the role.

“The choice of Rt. Hon. Amaechi as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) is very strategic. Amaechi is someone that has capacity and understands how to leverage on power and influence of a powerful political office as the SGF’s. 

The President needs this skill as the party prepares to defends its hold on power against the PDP. Recall he was the DG of the President’s campaign and has delivered two senate seats to the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) in Rivers State, dealing Governor Wike a deadly political blow in the process.”Another source hinted that President Buhari is will effect the mid-term cabinet reshuffle due to political considerations.

“The cabinet would definitely be reshuffled very soon and all the ministers know that. It is for this reason they have been lobbying their governors and allies close to Mr. President since he returned from London. The problem is that some of these same allies have advised Mr. President to discountenance the list that was presented by Vice-President Osinbajo when he met with him last month in London.”

“His allies would rather he dissolves the cabinet completely and brings in a new team that would be completely loyal to the president. Right now the cabinet is in a state of flux due to the uncertainty over what direction the president would go,” the source volunteered.

However stakeholders and pressure groups have joined the call for cabinet reshuffle.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, recently urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reshuffle his cabinet, saying time is running out and most Nigerians are yet to experience the change promised by the administration.

Wabba who spoke exclusively to LEADERSHIP said after two years in the saddle, most ministers have not lived up to expectation.

The Labour leader added that there was need for the president to bring in fresh minds with new ideas.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president who did not specify which of the ministers to be removed also said President Buhari’s absence has slowed down the implementation of the new minimum wage.

He said now that Buhari is back from his medical vacation, Nigerian workers are expecting a speedy process of implementing the new minimum wage.

“We join other Nigerians in welcoming President Buhari back from the over 100 days medical vacation abroad. There are a lot of expectations from Nigerians and that is why the anxiety is high when he was actually billed to return.”According to Wabba, this arose from the fact that the Change process has not been fast as expected.

“Most of the processes have been very slow. This I think was due to the fact that consultation has to go on. Even the then Acting President at a point needed to consult, especially when looking at the challenges in the economy and also considering that as workers, we have lots of expectation.”

“I think also there is high expectation in how to rejuvenate the machinery of government, especially looking at the performance of the ministers and some political appointees. I think usually in the life of any administration, halfway down the line will be enough time to assess their performance and then assess the impact that they put into the system.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President emphasised that Nigerians await an innovative cabinet reshuffle with President Muhammadu Buhari’s return.

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