A major shake-up reportedly expected in the Nigerian military
- There is currently a level of apprehension at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa over a reported would-be massive shake-up in Muhammadu Buhari's cabinet
- The sweeping reform is also reportedly being considered in the military
- Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, one of the service chiefs is expected to retire soon
Ministers and other appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari have remained in apprehension a month after his return from London where he spent at least 103 days over a health issue.
Legit.ng learnt that the fear continues to grow because there was earlier speculation that the president could carry out a cabinet reshuffle once he returned from London.
The Nation also reported that the president was further expected to announce some reforms.
The report said some the president’s strategists are currently pushing for the retention of his Economic Team while seeking a split of the ministry of power, works and housing into three separate bodies.
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While this is happening, there are reports that some of the president’s strategists have presented five options to him on the shape of his cabinet which Buhari is said to be weighing currently.
Some of the reforms, according to the report, include key appointments in the public service and the military; cabinet; the fate of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb Ayo Oke.
Also included is the controversy over the appointment of the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.
“Now that the president has settled down, ministers, advisers and other top government functionaries are all anxious for his mid-term reforms. We know he has plans, which he has kept under wraps.
“The ministers are in the dark whether there will be a shake-up in the cabinet or not. No one knows the mindset of the president.
“We know that some issues/ matters had been pending before the President traveled for Sallah and the United Nations,” the source said.
Another top official was quoted as saying: “For instance, some strategists/ kitchen cabinet members have been prevailing on the president to retain his Economic Team, having exited recession.
“They said the consolidation of the exit will be faster than the dissolution of the team.
“A few strategists have recommended the split of the ministry of power, works and housing into three as the case before the cost saving measures of the president.
“Although three ministers are now in charge of the ministry, they are calling for the assignment of full portfolio to each of them.
“On cabinet reshuffling, there are five options before the president. These are (a) a major shake-up; replacement of few ministers, especially those with political ambition; swapping of portfolios; allowing ministers to leave based on their own volition; and retention of all ministers till the end of the tenure of this administration.”
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The president, the report said, is further expected to take a decision on the military because of the imminent statutory exit of the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, who was appointed on July 13, 2015.
Olonisakin was due for retirement in 2016, but the president extended his tenure by one year because of the ongoing war against Boko Haram.
“The president had been contemplating some changes since it is obvious that Olonisakin will soon retire.
“The present service chiefs are the Chief of Army Staff, Gen.Tukur Yusuf Buratai (born on 24 November 1960 but commissioned as an officer in 1983); the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (born on April 8, 1960 but commissioned as a Nigerian Air Force officer in 1983); and the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (born on 27th September 1960 but commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant in 1983).
“If anything is worrying the president is the fear of losing good hands at a time the war against Boko Haram is at a crucial stage.
“Olonisakin, who is a gentleman, has been willing to leave were it not for the presidential extension of his service year.
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“It will be difficult to predict the nature of reform the President will carry out in the military but as a Commander-In-Chief, he knows what to do,” one source reportedly said.
Legit.ng earlier reported how some Nigerians started clamouring for some ministers to resign just four months into their appointment by President Buhari.
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