5 January 2013

Nigeria: Anxiety Grips Commissioners, Aides As Yero Moves to Dissolve Cabinet

Indications merged last night that Kaduna State Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has concluded plans to dissolve the cabinet which he inherited from the late Governor Ibrahim Yakowa.

A source close to the governor confided in LEADERSHIP WEEKEND that the development had led to palpable fears and anxiety among serving commissioners, top government functionaries and special advisers who are apprehensive of the impending sword of Damocles.

The source, who sought anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, added that the commissioners were aware of the development, saying that they have started lobbying some people in the state to make a case for their retention or redeployment. He said, "The governor is not going to change the entire cabinet, but I strongly believe that a sizeable number of the commissioners will go.

"The retention of some of the commissioners will be determined, to a large extent, by the local government they are representing. It will also be determined by the governor's ability and how he wants his cabinet to look like.

"Don't forget that Vice-President Namadi Sambo will also have a say in who becomes the new governor's commissioners. They are going to bring people that will be loyal to them and those who will be ready to do their biddings." According to him, most of the commissioners that may be sacked will be those who were disrespectful to the governor when he was the deputy governor to the late Yakowa.

The source also said, "he needs capable and performance-driven men and women that can help his government to succeed. I can also confirm to you that some of the special advisers who are very loyal to the governor will bounce back as commissioners."

The serving commissioners and other aides had enjoyed their privileged positions until Yakowa died alongside the former National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi and four others in a plane crash in Bayelsa State on December 16, 2012.

But in fulfilment of section 191 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Yero took over the mantle of leadership less than 24 hours after the demise of his boss at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House.

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