Daily Trust (Abuja)

28 January 2013

Nigeria: Al-Makura Sacks Cabinet, Orders Commissioners Out of Office

Nasarawa State governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, today, sacked his cabinet, one year after he appointed and inaugurated commissioners, special advisers and other members of the State Executive Council (SEC).

The governor did not give reasons, as a terse statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Iliyasu Ali Yakubu, said the governor dissolved the cabinet after an emergency council today.

"At an emergency Council meeting presided over by His Excellency. Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, today Monday 28th of January, 2013 dissolved the State Executive Council which includes all Special Advisers and the Secretary to the State Government", the statement said.

"Accordingly, the governor thanked the commissioners, Special Advisers and the Secretary to the State Government for their immeasurable contributions to the development of the State during their period of service and directed that they should handover to their respective Permanent Secretaries", the statement added.

The statement was released to the media by around 3:30pm, and by few minutes to 4pm, the governor drove out of Government House, and headed to Abuja, with just a few aides on his entourage.

But Daily Trust gathered that the governor ordered ex-cabinet members to proceed and vacate their offices before close of work by 4pm.

A few commissioners spoken to declined to make confirmations, but told Daily Trust they had already packed and left their offices.

Daily Trust inquiries also showed that the governor decided on the dissolution because he did not enjoy the loyalty of majority of the cabinet members, especially over the various crises his administration has faced with members of the opposition including the PDP-controlled state assembly which has has to read riot acts to him for close to two years now.

A top member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the state, told Daily Trust that the governor also felt that members of his cabinet showed no cooperation to the administration in the face of communal crises which the state has witnessed for close to two years under the administration.

The governor was first rumoured to have indicated he will sack the cabinet in the late days of December, 2012, but that never came, in what one of his media aide, Sani Mairiga denied. Only last week, Mairiga had said again that the governor had no plans to sack the cabinet.

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