Labaran Maku Explains Why Four Ministers Were Relieved Of Their Duties
Yesterday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, President Goodluck Jonathan announced that four ministers have been relieved of their duties. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Information Minister Labarn Maku explained the reasons for this move.
Aviation Minister Stella Oduah, who was absent at the meeting, had been reportedly informed of the development by the President. It is not clear if the three other ministers - Police Affairs Minister Caleb Olubolade, Minister of Niger Delta Godsday Orubebe and Minister of State for Finance Yerima Ngama - had been warned in advance.
Olubolade and Orubebe left before the end of the meeting and did not talk to the press. Exiting the Presidential Villa, Ngama spoke briefly to reporters in the Hausa language.
Yesterday's development follows the exit of Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Oghiadomhe, on Monday.
At the end of the FEC meeting, Information Minister Labaran Maku explained that the ministers were "allowed to go" to pursue personal and political goals.
"The President ... said a number of ministers have been asked to step out of the Federal Executive Council to pursue or further their own interests, some in politics, others private-focused. But mainly what the President did today was to allow ministers who have indicated interest in pursuing further goals in the polity and in the economy and in the life of the country to be allowed to go.
"In announcing the acceptance of their decision to participate further in the polity, the President thanked them very sincerely for the great job they have done in helping the government realise a number of the goals that have been achieved under the transformation agenda," Minister Maku said.
He then added that the President thanked the ministers for their work for Nigeria and was "generally happy" with what they had done to help the administration to realize its goals.
"The President explained that, contrary to this insinuation which came from the social media and were also replicated in some regular media, [Chief of Staff] Oghiadomhe left to pursue further interest in politics," Maku said further.
"The President made it very clear that the resignation of the former chief of staff has nothing to do with the alleged misdemeanors in NNPC, but rather it was purely a decision of the former chief of staff to withdraw his services to participate in pursuing further interest in politics."
On why Stella Oduah was asked to go, Maku had this to say:
"I have just reported exactly what the President said. Also, don't forget allegations don't necessarily mean guilt, and I think the press should always take sometimes to be patient. But the truth of the matter is that they left because they indicated interest in playing deeper roles in the politics of the country and the President has decided to let them go."