Monday, 15 February 2016

Buhari ‘bows’ to pressure, sacks heads of parastatals appointed by Jonathan

President Muhammadu Buhari may have succumbed to the pressure piled on him by his party men who have consistently asked him to replace several heads of federal government agencies and parastatals that he inherited from his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Buhari, who is said to have rebuffed the clamour to remove them on the grounds that their tenures, some of which are backed by law, had not expired, is reported by ThisDay to have late last week approved the sack of no fewer than 35 chief executives and directors-general‎ of some agencies of government.

With the President’s approval for their dismissal being communicated to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Babachir David Lawal, the announcement may be made in the course of this week.


The newspaper learnt that some of the affected agencies are the Nigeria‎ Railway Corporation, NRC, the National Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF, and the Industrial Trust Fund, ITF, among 32 other agencies.

According to sources, the complete list of agency chiefs would be announced this week by the SGF who at the weekend asked the supervising ministers of the agencies to inform the affected persons of their removal.

The report claimed that Lawal chose to wait to make the announcement because he did not want to spoil their weekend, more so since the Valentine’s Day celebration fell at the weekend.

But ahead of the announcement, he asked the supervising ministers of the affected agencies to inform their heads ahead of time, which some of them were believed to have done.

Today, being Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed informed heads of six parastatals under his ministry of their sack, directing them to hand over to the most senior officials in their various establishments.


Prior to the approval, it was gathered that Buhari had resisted pressure for the ouster of some of the heads of parastatals he inherited from his predecessor, arguing that their tenures had not expired and is in some cases backed by law.

However, there has been pressure from members of his party to remove the parastatal heads and replace them with loyalists of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as compensation for their loyalty to the ruling party and for their contribution to its victory in the 2015 general election.

A case in point is that of the APC governorship candidate in the April 11, 2015 Rivers election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, and some party chieftains from his state, who after the Supreme Court dismissed their election petition against Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, met with the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun recently.

At the meeting, they reportedly pleaded with Oyegun to make a case for their compensation at the federal level owing to the sacrifices they had made and the fact that they had been branded “traitors” in Rivers State for siding with the APC.

Although Buhari, sources said, is yet to announce replacements for any of the agencies, the report has it that their letters of disengagement will instruct them to‎ hand over to the most senior persons in their respective agencies, pending the appointment of new substantive heads to run the parastatals.





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