Among the ministers relieved of their posts are Education Minister, Ruqqayatu Rufai, and Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru.
Other rusticated ministers are National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, Land and Urban Development, Amal Pepple, Environment, Hadiza Mailafia, Science and Technology, Ita Ewa, Defence, Olusola Obada, Power, Zainab Kuchi, and Agriculture, Tijani Bukar.
The sack of the ministers was announced by the minister for Environment, Hadjia Hadiza Mailafia while speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso Rock Villa today. A reporter at the brief said it was a bit weird that one of the fired ministers was detailed to announce the firings.
There had been speculations for several months now that Mr. Jonathan was about to shuffle his cabinet. But a political source in Abuja described the president’s choice of ministers to sack as “poor and even questionable.” The source added that Mr. Jonathan could have sent a positive signal if he had fired some of the most notoriously corrupt members of his cabinet.
The source stated that Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, Aviation Minister Stella Oduah, and Justice Minister Adoke Bello have the worst reputations for corruption and incompetence.
“Go and ask anybody in the NNPC or the oil sector generally and they will tell you that Diezani [Alison-Madueke] has ruined the sector with her policies,” said the source. He added that the president’s decision to retain her in the cabinet seemed to validate speculation that the minister’s corrupt practices and shady deals have the blessings of Mr. Jonathan, who is seen as a primary beneficiary of her corruption.
Mr. Adoke Bello has overseen the virtual incarceration of Nigeria’s anti-corruption initiatives, which were half-hearted even under previous administrations.
SaharaReporters and other media have published reports of corrupt deals by Ms. Diezani Alison-Madueke as well as Mr. Bello.