Posted by By Chijama Ogbu, Michael Faloseyi, Everest Amaefule and Ihuoma Chiedozie on
Indications emerged on Thursday that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resigned her appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in protest.....
Indications emerged on Thursday that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala resigned her appointment as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in protest over her removal as the head of the Economic Management Team.
This is contrary to her official reason that she resigned to enable her to take care of urgent family issues.
Her resignation dated August 3, was accepted on the same day by President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Obasanjo had on June 21, 2006 removed her as the Minister of Finance.
The President, while announcing her redeployment, asked her to retain her position as the chairman of the Economic Team to allow time for institutional stability.
As leader of the team, she was to continue supervising the country‘s international financial transactions.
But Obasanjo in a letter on Tuesday directed the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Nenadi Usman, to take over from Okonjo-Iweala as leader of the Economic Team.
The same letter also announced the appointment of the Economic Adviser to the President, Dr. Osita Ogbu, as the deputy leader of the team and confirmed the president as the chairman of the team.
Our correspondents also learnt that the former minister faxed her resignation letter from the United Kingdom, where she was on an official assignment.
Sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that Okonjo-Iweala could not bear the confirmation of Usman as head of the economic team.
She had travelled to London to negotiate the country‘s exit from the London Club of creditors when she was removed as leader of the Economic Team.
It was learnt that the government had changed its position following a protest by Usman that she should have led the Nigerian economic delegation on the London trip.
In her resignation letter, Okonjo-Iweala recalled the terms of reference outlined for her by the president and gave herself a pass mark.
"Your Excellency, I have delivered on your targets and benchmarks and I believe it is time for me to look after my family whilst at the same time contributing to Nigeria in another fashion," she said.