Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Gen Abbe Now Defence Minister

Abuja — IN an apparent move to increase the pace of the ongoing peace process in the troubled Niger-Delta region, President Umaru Yar'Adua yesterday announced a mini-cabinet reshuffle which led to the swapping of portfolios of four members of the Federal Executive Council.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi, said the Chairman of the Presidential Panel on Amnesty and Disarmament of Militants in the Niger-Delta, Major-Gen Godwin Abbe (rtd) who was until yesterday the Minister of Interior, will today assume duties at the Defence Ministry.

The move by the President, according to sources, is geared towards fast tracking the ongoing peace process in the region, especially critical issues that concern defence, given the background of the new minister.

The statement added that "the current Minister of Interior, Major-General Godwin Abbe (rtd) becomes the new Minister of Defence and will take over from the incumbent Minister, Alhaji Shettima Mustapha who is to move to the Ministry of Interior".

Similarly, the Minister of State (Interior), Alhaji Abdulrahman Adamu is to take over from Mr. Ademola Seriki as Minister of State (Defence), while Mr. Seriki becomes the Minister of State (Interior).

The changes are with immediate effect.

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