Panic as President Jonathan invites ministers, queries NPC chairman, Odimegwu


by Akan Ido

There was an uneasy calm among ministers as President Goodluck Jonathan sent an invitation to some of their colleagues for consultation.

Reports say the ministers, who were not in the FCT, Abuja, were recalled for consultations with the president on Monday.

There has been fear among ministers since the president wielded the big stick on Monday by sacking Youth Development minister, Inuwa Abdulkadir.

Besides, the Presidency queried yesterday the Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Festus Odimegwu.

According to sources, the President has kept all the ministers on their toes after a mid-term assessment of their performance.

According to sources: “There is pressure on ministers to perform or leave. The President is not ready to grant permission for any local or foreign trip, unless it is necessary.

“As a matter of fact, there is panic among ministers because some of their colleagues were summoned on Monday by the President alongside the sacked Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdul-Kadir.”

Some ministers, who were recalled, made it to the Presidential Villa. Abdul-Kadir was held up at the annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Calabar, Cross River State capital.

Read the Nigerian Eye report below:

It was not immediately clear yesterday what the President discussed with the ministers.

A source said he asked every cabinet member to increase his “project delivery pace without compromising quality”.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the change of administrative style by President Goodluck Jonathan in the last few days has also made the ministers to be jittery.

It was learnt that instead of announcing changes from the Presidential Villa, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, is now in charge of such announcements.

Odimegwu is said to have been queried for comments capable of causing disaffection.

It was gathered that the government was uncomfortable with the interview he granted some newspapers.

He had alleged in a report that the census figures during the era of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo were cooked up.

A source in the Presidency said: “Odimegwu has been queried. The SGF was mandated to issue him a query to ascertain whether he said what was ascribed to him or not.”
Abdul-Kadir said he had learnt a lot during his short tenure in office.

He is believed to have been fired for being close to House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and Sokoto Governor Aliyu Wamakko.
According to a statement by the Assistant Director (Press), Olusola Abiola, the ex-minister spoke while handing over to the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Tunji Olaopa.

The statement said: “Abdul-Kadir has expressed his deep appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan for the opportunity to serve the nation affording him the privilege to contribute his own quota to the development of about 60 million youths across the federation.
“He disclosed that his short stint in the ministry has enabled him appreciate greatly the numerous challenges facing the Nigerian youth.

“He said he has learnt a lot from the seasoned administrators and technocrats in the course of the discharge of his duties.

“He used the opportunity to advise the officials of the ministry to continue to discharge their responsibilities in a manner that will continue to advance the policies of the Federal Government for the sector.

“He told the gathering, which includes the Directors-General of the National Youth Service Corps and the Citizens & Leadership Training Centre, to always be steadfast as public servants in their service to the nation.

“However, in separate remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, the Directors-General of NYSC and C&LTC extolled the virtues of the former Minister and thanked him for his contributions to the development of the Ministry.”

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