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FEC: Reprieve for ministers as Jonathan fails to announce cabinet reshuffle

By The Citizen
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Relief came the way of ministers on Friday as President Goodluck Jonathan failed to effect a cabinet shake-up as widely speculated.

Fear of a cabinet shake-up had on Thursday gripped many ministers as Jonathan convened an emergency Federal Executive Council meeting.

Although FEC holds its statutory meetings on Wednesdays, the President convened the emergency meeting for Friday.

The emergency meeting, however, discussed the Federal Government's medium-term fiscal framework for 2014-2016 appropriation years as presented by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Ahead of the meeting, there were fears among the ministers that the President might have convened the meeting to announce a cabinet shake-up.

The fears were heightened by last week's resignation of the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Pate, which further fuelled speculations that a cabinet shake-up was imminent.

The ministers started arriving for the meeting that began at about 10.10 am as early as 8.30 am.

Some of those who arrived earlier stayed glue to their seats and were patiently waiting for the arrival of the President before the documents that formed part of discussions at the meeting were distributed.

It was a reprieve of sorts for them when the President arrived, signalling the commencement of the meeting and he allowed journalists to go out of the venue.

Many were expecting that Jonathan would ask the journalists to stay back as he made the cabinet shake-up announcement.

Even journalists who arrived the Presidential Villa, Abuja early enough to capture the mood of the ministers as the President makes the much-awaited pronouncement, were disappointed by the turn of events.