By Precious Adi
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday swore in 11 new ministers who had been cleared by the Senate last month.
He also sacked Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who was the Minister of Sports. The sack of Abdullahi came barely 24 hours after a sweeping sack in the Aviation sector, where the heads of the parastatals in the sector were removed.
Abdullahi was first appointed Minister of Youth Development in 2011 and later asked to supervise the Sports Ministry. He was later named the substantive minister of sports in May 2012.
Relieving Abdullahi of his position is therefore seen as a political move to rid the cabinet of those with divided loyalty.Those sworn in yesterday included: Gen. Aliyu Gusau (rtd) (Zamfara), who will serve as Minister of Defence; Boni Haruna (Adamawa) as Minister of Youth Development; and Dr. Tamuno Danagogo from Rivers State, who replaced Abdullahi as Sports Minister.
Others were Senator Muhammadu Musiliu Obanikoro (Lagos) to serve as the Minister of State for Defence, Mohammed Wakil (Borno) will serve as Minister of State for Power; Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan (Osun) is the new Minister of Police Affairs, while Ambassador Aminu Wali (Kano) is the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Others included Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi (Akwa Ibom), who will serve as the Minister of Lands and Housing; while Lawrencia Laraba Mallam (Kaduna State) bagged the portfolio of Ministry of Environment.
Minister of State for Agriculture is Hajia Asabe Asmau Ahmed (Niger), while Dr. Khaliru Alhassan (Sokoto State) is the new Minister of State for Health.
While swearing in the ministers yesterday, Jonathan noted that being Nigerians, “they have already known the problems projected on a daily basis by the media, which interprets that they have to ensure they excel in their areas of assignments.
“Public work is a public trust and as such the ministers are expected to serve the people by bringing positive and not negative changes.”
He further urged them to work together as a team, and admonished the ministers to bring their experience to bear on the administration, irrespective of portfolios assigned to them.