Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has dissolved the Federal Executive Council. Saharareporters had reported a few days ago that federal ministers, perhaps sensing such a development, had been removing personal effects from their respective offices since last week. Mr. Jonathan may have opted for the total dissolution of the cabinet, put in place in 2007 by ailing Nigeria leader, Umaru Yar’Adua, as a means of asserting his control of the council.
Saharareporters sources said Yar’Adua’s so-called “recovery” is slow and difficult. Not only is his physical frame bent completely, but contrary to the propaganda disseminated by his hopeful cronies, he remains unable to speak or walk.
Jonathan is said to have announced the dissolution at the end of today’s meeting. His approach meant that while everyone walked in as a Minister, they all walked out unemployed. Today’s development may have been particularly painful for the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, who was attending his first meeting as Minister of Special Duties following his return from vacation.
No replacements for the Ministers have been announced,and none may happen until two weeks, as Mr. Jonathan will have to go through Senate approval of his nominees, but a source told Saharareporters that over 500 politicians seeking political appointments have taken over Abuja’s major five-star hotels to lobby or be lobbied for.
Political analysts told Saharareporters that it is easy enough to dissolve the cabinet, but Jonathan may face an uphill task to reconstitute it, especially as threats continue to emanate from lawmakers, who are polarized along regional lines, about cooperating with Jonathan.
Jonathan’s next targets, given what he has said since assuming office, are likely to be the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the leaderships of which are expected to be changed.
While Maurice Iwu, who heads the electoral body, may be sacked by Jonathan, he would not have the authority, if the recommendations of the new electoral law are adopted, to unilaterally appoint his successor. Those recommendations provide for INEC to be unbundled into different bodies, and for the judiciary to advertise the leaderships, and narrow down the candidates.