Federal cabinet ministers afraid they will soon be shuffled out of the good life of Aso Rock, please take a deep breath and relax.
Nigerians flocking to the power centers of the People’s Democratic Party to seek sponsorship into the reshuffled cabinet, sorry, there are no vacancies, as the presidency today refuted public speculation about an impending cabinet reshuffle.
“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has implicit confidence in the ability of the current crop of ministers to deliver and has no plan to undertake any replacement at the moment,” presidential spokesman Reuben Abati said in a statement in Abuja
He described the speculation as the work of mischief makers “who seem bent on frustrating the good intentions of the Federal Government to deliver on the campaign promises of President Jonathan.”
He also dispelled any truth in the “alleged tension” among his Ministers as a result of the speculation, describing it as a calculated attempt to cause disaffection within the cabinet and divert the attention of members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) from “their unwavering commitment to the implementation of the Transformation Agenda of the Jonathan Administration.”
Political analysts were today baffled about the presidential statement, in view of the fact that the rumours about possible reshuffle of his grossly-underperforming team has been abroad for months. “This is true to character,” said one who spoke to SaharaReporters. “Jonathan’s strongest suit has never been decision-making, and it is obvious that the pressure has led to him having to back off.”
Mr. Jonathan has yet to unveil the content of his “Transformation Agenda,” although he has often spoken about the concept. On July 2, 2011, at a meeting with the United States ambassador, Terence McCulley to celebrate the 235th anniversary of American independence, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim, said that when Mr. Jonathan publishes the “Transformation Agenda,” it would contain major institutional changes aimed at plugging loopholes and opportunities for corruption in Nigeria.
Similarly, at a press conference in November 2011, the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, said that the agenda, when unveiled, would address Nigeria’s moral conundrum in which looters have no fear of repercussions.
He said of the Transformation Agenda, “We have to emphasize the rule of law, judicial system and the policing system. When you know that there is a 99 percent chance you would be caught when you steal and 100 percent chance that you would go to jail, you won’t steal.”
One of our analysts met the presidential announcement this afternoon with a question. “Are we really surprised?” he asked. “Here we are, with almost one year gone of Mr. Jonathan’s administration. If he cannot publish his own Transformation Agenda, exactly what can he achieve? It seems we have fallen for yet another public policy hoax at the highest level.”
Mr. Jonathan’s first anniversary comes up in three weeks.