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Obasanjo to dissolve Cabinet

Posted by on 2004/12/05 | Views: 2536 |

Obasanjo to dissolve Cabinet


Major cabinet shake-up is imminent, as President Olusegun Obasanjo moves to rejuvenate his second four-year term.

•3 ministers to go

•efcc probes aides

Major cabinet shake-up is imminent, as President Olusegun Obasanjo moves to rejuvenate his second four-year term.

Informed sources told Sunday Champion that at least, three ministers will be dropped along with several special advisers and special assistants.

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Indeed, at least, one of the ministers to be dropped may be investigated and prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on corruption charges.

Sources familiar with the planned shake-up, the first in the president’s second term which began June 2003, said the president is anxious to see through his economic reform programmes. The cabinet reshuffle is therefore to place those who fully believe in the reform agenda key posts and ease out those who don’t.

Besides, there are hints that at least three ministers may have been seriously indicted in corruption allegations.

The reshuffle will also see several ministers swapping positions.

In addition, Sunday Champion learnt several advisers will be dropped while a few will swap positions.

The president, it was understood, will privately inform the affected ministers immediately on his return from the United States of America (USA) where he is holding talks with President George W. Bush.

A particular high profile minister, sources said, is already being investigated by the EFCC. The EFCC is currently seeking presidential approval to pull the cabinet member in for questioning over questionable contracts.

Should this happen, the minister will be the second serving minister to be axed for alleged corruption. Last year, Alhaji Husseini Akwanga, then Labour Minister, was indicted in the National Identity Card scheme along with then ex-Minister of Internal Affairs, Chief Sunday Afolabi.

Both were eventually detained, arraigned and prosecuted. The case was subsequently dropped on the death of Chief Afolabi.

During his first term, Chief Obasanjo reshuffled his cabinet twice.

The extra-large size of his cabinet, special advisers, special assistants and other aides, is one of the criticism levelled by opponents who insist that the president’s sermonising on waste is insincere since he has such a large army of aides.

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