2015 election: Jonathan’s close aides seek ‘election cabinet’

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Sources close to the presidency who preferred anonymity have said that president Goodluck Jonathan needs to constitute an ‘election cabinet’ to aid his comeback to power in 2015.

One of the top presidency sources said that Jonathan’s close aides had advised him many times on the need to constitute what they described as “election cabinet.”

They described the election cabinet as a group of loyalist who not only believed to have political value in their states but also wield the required political power to deliver their states and will help the President Goodluck Jonathan redeem his political image in the country.

The Punch newspaper reported that the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said he was not aware of such pressure on the President when he simply stated:“Honestly, I don’t know. I am not aware of such pressure.

Nevertheless, a source speaking on the issue stated thus: “We have told the President on several occasions that he needs to constitute what we call an election cabinet. He cannot go into election with this cabinet as currently constituted. We have told him this and proved it to him several times.

“We have told Mr. President that this must not continue. If you think you cannot stick out your neck for a government that has given you an opportunity, the honourable thing to do is to resign;  failure of which you can be shown the way out.”

“How can you call yourself a minister and you will hear people talking ill of your principal and attacking the government you are serving and you will decide to be indifferent?’ the source queried.

He said a situation where ministers would sit on the fence when the President and the government were being criticised did not depict a cabinet that Jonathan should have during elections.

The source added that  the pressure on the President became more intense with the open confrontation  five northern state governors have  had  with Jonathan.

Nevertheless, another Presidency source said Jonathan might dissolve his cabinet in October to create opportunities for people with competence to take over strategic ministries but some ‘active’ ones might be retained.

The  Presidency source stated, “The President would make far-reaching changes in his cabinet before or on October 1, 2013.  He is even thinking of dissolving the whole cabinet.

“I can assure you that several of the ministers are going. There are some who would resign to pursue their political ambitions, while there are others who are disloyal and those who have performed below expectations.

He added that the President might now be personally motivated to heed to their pressure with the sacking of Inuwa Abdulkadir as  the minister of Youth Development, since  vacancies in the Federal Executive Council had increased to three enviable positions.

The other two positions were vacated by Former Minister of Defence, Dr. Bello Haliru in June last year and former Minister of State, Health, Dr.  Muhammed Pate  who resigned on July 24.

It was gathered that several ministers loyal to political enemies of the President would certainly lose their jobs.

It was further learnt that some ministers, who have governorship ambitions, would be relieved of their appointments to give them the opportunity to face their political careers.

This has however added flesh to the insinuations that the unexpected sack of the youth minister was politically- inclined though he was previously accused of maladministration.

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