2011: MORE MINISTERS TO RESIGN
former minister of information and communications, Professor Dora Akunyili
Barely a week after former minister of information and communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, quit the federal cabinet, there are strong indication last night that morer ministers may quit. President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo are already touring the geo-political zones seeking delegates' endorsements ahead of the 2011 presidential primaries of the People Democratic Party (PDP), with the ministers from those zones accompanying them.
But this might not be the case when the campaign kicks off, as more ministers are set to quit the government.
A top Presidency source who craved anonymity said many of the cabinet members are leaving because they lack political value, the very ingredient the President needs if he is to emerge winner in the 2011 polls.
Asked if this would not put Jonathan's presidency in disarray, the source said the President was not in anyway perturbed as they are considered featherweight politically.
According to the source, those considered political heavyweights include Senator Bala Mohammed, Mrs. Josephine Anenih, Senator Mohammed Daggash, Godsday Orubebe, Dr. Usman Shamsudeen, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, the two Ministers of State, Dr. Idi Hong and Hajiya Salamatu Sulieman, Chief Kayode Adetokunbo among the few.
The source disclosed that most of the ministers, were hurriedly put togetherr by President Jonathan to stabilise and reduce tension in the polity, after he was sworn-in as substantive president. 'So to that extent, we are not surprised,' the source said.
The source said that unlike Akunyili who left the PDP for the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), to contest a senatorial seat, the other possible runaway cabinet members may be joining the gubernatorial race in their respective states.
Those on the list, as at the last count, are the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, who hails from Yobe State, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hong, from Adamawa State and the Minister of Sports, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio, from Kwara State.
Initially, the ministers of the Niger-Delta, Orubebe, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi had nurtured ambition to vie for elective positions but had to drop their ambition, in the belief that 'he who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.'
The first female Minister of Petroleum Resources and alleged Shell spy in the government, Mrs. Allison-Madueke, was also said to be under pressure at one time to join issues with incumbent Timipreye Sylva in the scramble for the soul of Creek Heavens in Bayelsa State.
She was, however, said to have been advised to jettison the idea as she stands no chance.
There is the allegation that those dropping the juicy ministerial positions are mainly doing so to enhance their bargaining power and be in a position to stage a comeback to the federal cabinet next year, should Jonathan eventually win the election.
While the Illorin-born Bio is entering the gubernatorial race for the first time, having served as a Speaker of the state House of Assembly once, the Minister of Police Affairs, is not a green horn in the governorship race, as he had featured prominently in past elections, in his All Nigeria People Party (ANPP), dominated Yobe State.