18 December 2012

Nigeria: Ministers Panic As Jonathan Calls Emergency FEC Meeting

Some ministers in President Goodluck Jonathan's cabinet are said to be jittery over an emergency Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting scheduled to hold today instead of tomorrow, the official date set aside for the weekly council meeting.

The president who has been in a pensive mood, following the tragic helicopter crash that killed Kaduna State Governor Ibrahim Yakowa and former NSA Andrew Azazi was said to have remained in his office throughout yesterday without attending to any official function except to receive sympathisers who thronged his office at the Presidential illa to commiserate with him.

Although the agenda for the emergency FEC meeting convened by Jonathan was still sketchy at the time of filing this report, LEADERSHIP gathered that it might have something to do with the president's resolve to get all the ministers to present their performance report before the year runs out.

In the past two weeks, FEC meetings have dragged into the late evenings because of ministers' presentation of annual performance reports.

Sources at the presidency told LEADERSHIP that the presentation of the annual reports may not be enough for the president to convene an emergency FEC meeting a day to the official date and that some ministers are apprehensive of the president's true intentions.

"Some of the non-performing ministers are jittery that they may be asked to go following the recent series of pressures mounted on the president to get rid of redundant elements in his government," said a source, who craved anonymity.

One of such pressures, according to him, was last Friday's declaration by one of the president's kinsman, Alhaji Mujaheed Asari Dokubo, that it would be difficult for Jonathan to rule beyond 2015 because he chose to surround himself with 'greedy' people.

Dokubo had said that such people were responsible for the crack between the president and former president Olusegun Obasanjo, and had also made the president lose the support of the South East and South South, two zones in the country considered his political strongholds.

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