The recent sack of four ministers may just be part of a deal President Goodluck Jonathan has entered into in his re-election project, Daily Sun can now reveal.
Jonathan had, on Wednesday, fired Princess Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation; Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger Delta; Caleb Olubolade, Minister of Police Affairs and Yerima Ngama, Minister of State for Finance. This came barely one month after the president removed the service chiefs and appointed new ones.
Daily Sun gathered that the sack of the four ministers is part of the trade-off Jonathan has made, in his quest to seek re-election.
Competent sources revealed that some elements in South-West had specifically asked Jonathan to sack Oduah and Mike Oghiadomhe, the former chief of staff to the president, if he wants to get the zone’s support in 2015.
It was gathered that the South-West has also requested that replacements for Oduah and Oghiadomhe should come from South-West, as a proof that Jonathan is not marginalising the zone.
Opposition, however, has greeted the latter request, as some elements in the Presidency are insisting that whichever minister is sacked should be replaced by somebody from the zone.
Sources also revealed that the sack of the service chiefs was due to the request some politicians from the North made, for them to support Jonathan’s second term bid.
It was gathered that the northern elements specifically asked for either the post of Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Defence Staff, with the president opting for the latter.
In appointing the Chief of Defence Staff, Jonathan changed the sequence, as the post rotates among the Army, Navy and Air Force. While the Navy and the air force produced the last two Chief of Defence Staff, the Army was expected to take its turn now.
To please the North, as the zone requested, Jonathan appointed Alex Badeh from the Air Force, making it possible for two air men to serve as CDS within a space of six years.
Daily Sun gathered that as the 2015 general elections gets close, Jonathan will make more concessions to political blocks he thinks would be useful in his second term bid.
Sources revealed that the president would, between now and June, make his intention to seek a second term known. However, this will come after he would have pacified some politicians and zones critical to his second term ambition.
Meanwhile, Oduah has received encomiums from her kith and kin in Anambra State, who described her as a heroine.
They also commended Jonathan for giving Oduah an opportunity to give uncommon developmental stride in the aviation industry.
Speaking on Oduah, leader of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) in Anambra, Mr. Godwin Ezeemo, noted that the former minister has made the Igbo proud, in the course of discharging her duty as aviation minister.
Pointing to the transformation of the nation’s airports he said: “I have been in this country and used the airports so often that what I see as transformation in our airports was unbelievable to me that a woman could make such a difference.
“Oduah to me is a heroine; she brought ingenuity in the aviation industry and has done marvelously well, and she has really done us proud.”
Also speaking, the Anambra State House Committee Chairman on Information, Mr. Poly Onyeka thanked the President for giving the Igbo the chance to prove themselves in service to their nation, stressing that Oduah brought originality and creativity in aviation industry that one would have thought she could be allowed to do more.
He said: “I thought Oduah could have been allowed to continue to discharge her responsibility, but it turned other way.”
The lawmaker commended the former minister for making aviation the most improved sector in the country.
The Anambra Ohanaeze Chairman, Dr. Chris Elumunoh, said that the president acted in the best interest of the nation and enjoys total rights on appointment or firing of any appointee.
Noting that Oduah initiated good projects in the industry, he urged Jonathan to appoint someone who would continue from the stride of Oduah.