President Muhammadu Buhari in a move critics describe as surprising, sacked two ministers; the NDDC forensic audit report was also submitted to the Nigerian leader while governors from the country’s troubled northern regions imposed fresh measures to tame the spike in banditry and other crimes.
We are reporting these and more as we review the past week!
Buhari Surprisingly Sacks Two Senior Ministers
President Muhammadu Buhari this past week relived two senior ministers after the weekly federal executive council meeting.
The affected cabinet members are the Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, and the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman.
The President also directed the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abubakar, to take over the Ministry of Agriculture while the Minister of State for Works, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, has been deployed to the Ministry of Power.
While critics and opposition politicians like Kingsley Moghalu – who was among those Buhari defeated to win a second term in 2019 – say the move was late, the presidency insisted the ministers were not sacked for underperforming
“It was by no means a red card on their performance; no, he didn’t say that in that speech,” presidential aide, Femi Adesina, maintained.
But the Nigerian leader warned that rejigging the cabinet would be a continuous process, putting the cabinet members on their toes.
Collapse, Hospitalisation and denial
Following the sacking of Sale Mamman reports emerged claiming that the former Minister of Power had collapsed and was hospitalised after hearing of his dismissal by the President. But Mamman in an interview with BBC Hausa denied such reports.
The Taraba born politician, who admitted that he had been ill, said he has been receiving treatment since last weekend.
Mamman said: “Even before the sack was announced, I have been seriously ill. I had not even gone to the office since earlier in the week.”
“So, yesterday (Wednesday) and today (Thursday) I also went back to the hospital for another round of check-up; and the doctor instructed that I needed some ‘rest’ so I remained at one place to rest.
“I found a serene and quiet environment to rest and take medication as recommended by the doctor. I didn’t stay at home because sympathisers are trooping to console me; this would prevent me from resting and convalescing on time.
“But I was also not hospitalised, and I didn’t faint as reported.”
NDDC probe report
After dealing with cabinet matters, President Buhari turned his attention to an agency that has become infamous for underperforming and fraud.
The Niger Delta Development, NDDC, forensic audit reports was finally submitted to the president.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio submitted the report to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who received it on behalf of the president.
The forensic audit covered a total of 13,777 contracts awarded from 2001 to 2019 at a final contract value of N3, 274,206,032,213.24.
Reacting, Buhari through Malami vowed not to spare anyone involved in the misappropriation of six trillion naira pumped into the NDDC.
He said no one indicted for shady deals in the NDDC would be spared no matter how highly placed.
Northern governors’ tactics to curb banditry
In moves to tame the spike in banditry and other criminal activities in the northern region, governors have rolled out fresh measures to help security agents.
In Katsina State, Governor Bello Masari banned the transportation of cattle from the state to other parts of the country.
He also banned the sale of petrol in jerricans (black-market) to motorists at filling stations.
The governor ordered the total closure of the Jibia-Gurbin Baure road to motorists while the Kankara-Scheme road was closed to commercial vehicles.
Total ban on carrying three (3) persons on motorcycles and more than three (3) passengers on a tricycle.
Total ban on the sale of second-hand motorcycles at Charanchi market
Re-enforcement of the ban on the operation of Commercial tricycles and motorcycles from 10.00 p.m to 6.00 a.m in the State Capital, and 6.00 p.m to 6.00 a.m in the frontline Local Government Areas; Re-enforcement of the total ban on the sale of petrol in jerricans at filling stations.
In Zamfara state, Governor Bello Matawalle announced the restriction of fuel sales to the state capital and the headquarters of the local government areas of the state.
The government also banned the sale of fuel in jerry cans in all filling stations, stopped ‘black market’ purchases, and suspended all weekly markets across the state, amongst other measures.
Telecommunications providers were also ordered to shut down mobile networks for Zamfara state.
On his part, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State placed a ban on the transportation of livestock from the state.
He also reiterated that the ban on felling/transporting of trees, selling of petrol in jerrycans in select LGAs is still in force.
“Furthermore, the Kawo weekly market which usually holds every Tuesday in Kaduna North LGA has been suspended with immediate effect.”
“The Government of Kaduna State wishes to highlight that the previous directives suspending weekly markets, and selling of petrol in jerrycans in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Kajuru LGAs, as well as banning the felling of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal and other commercial purposes in Birnin Gwari, Kachia, Kajuru, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Kauru LGAs, are still in force,” he statement by his media aide read.
That will be all for this week! Next week is another time. Keep a date