Jonathan Fires Sports Minister as Gusau Heads Defence
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday relieved the Minister of Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, of his position. Abdullahi, who was deployed to Sports from the Ministry of Youths Development was absent at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting where his sack was announced. The minister was on his way to Poland to attend Indoor Athletics Championship when his sack was announced. He is expected to return home immediately.
To replace him is one of the newly sworn in ministers, Tamuno Danagogo from Rivers State. It is not clear yet why the President sacked him even when his tenure has recorded tremendous achievements in international sporting events. However, Political Economist investigation revealed that he may have been a victim of the PDP-APC rivalry in Kwara State, his home state. He came in as minister as a PDP member but the party structure that nominated him in Kwara has joined the opposition APC.
In recent weeks, the PDP hierarchy in his state has accused him of being a staunch member of the APC.
On Tuesday, he was billed to lead the National Sports Commission (NSC) officials to defend the 2014 sports budget before the Senate Sports Committee but was absent. The chairman of the Committee, Adamu Gumba, who was visibly angry had to put the budget defence on hold and asked the Director General of NSC, Gbenga Elegbeleye, to return when the minister is ready for them. Defending the minister’s absence, Elegbeleye had told the committee that the minister left for Poland immediately after the PDP rally in Ilorin. Meanwhile, the President has sworn in the 11 ministers recently screened and cleared by the Senate.
The new ministers and their portfolios are: Gen Aliyu Mohammed Gusau (Zamfara), Minister of Defence Musiliu Obanikoro (Lagos), Minister of State Defence. Mohammed Wakil (Borno), Minister of State Power. Abduljelili Adesiyan (Osun), Minister of Police Affairs. Aminu Wali (Kano), Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs Akon Eyakenyi (Akwa Ibom), Minister of Land and Housing. Lawrencia Laraba Mallam (Kaduna State), Minister of Environment. Mrs. Asabe Asmau Ahmed (Niger), Minister of State, Agriculture Boni Haruna (Adamawa), Minister of Youth Development. Dr Khaliru Alhassan (Sokoto State), Minister of State, Health. It is expected that further Cabinet reshuffle would be made soon as the Ministry of Aviation is yet to get a substantive minister