JONATHAN APPOINTS BEN OBI, AHMADU ALI'S WIFE AIDES
The Campaign Coordinator of former vice president Atiku Abubakar, Senator Ben Obi, was among four new special advisers appointed and sworn in yesterday by President Goodluck Jonathan to beef up his political enterprise.
Obi who is from Anambra State was appointed special adviser on inter-party affairs; a former speaker of Adamawa State and special assistant (legal matters) to Jonathan when he was the vice president, Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak, was also named special adviser on political matters to the president.
Another aide meant to beef up the president's political team is Mrs. Mariam Nnemaka Comfort Ahmadu Ali from Delta State, who is the wife of a former national chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Ahmadu Ali. She is now the special adviser on inter-government affairs.
Also appointed and sworn-in is Prof. Tamuno-Preye Agiobenebo, from Rivers State, special adviser on economic matters, vice president's office.
In what appeared to be an indirect reaction to the mounting opposition against the planned removal of fuel subsidy, the president noted that though most societies would resist a change, 'we must bring about change.'
While welcoming the new appointees on board, Jonathan said 'it is a familiar terrain for most of you and we are quite pleased to bring you in. You are coming into government at a challenging period; this is a transitional period.'
According to him, 'society will not ordinarily want to make changes, especially when they don't even know if the changes will help them or it will not help them. But changes must be made for every society to grow.
It is like development of every living thing, we must change from one state to the other. Nigeria must change and we have to make changes. So, you are coming on board to join others to effect the necessary changes that will improve on the lives of our people.'
The president, in what appeared to be an admittance that his political machine was not as vibrant as before said there was urgent need to strengthen political activities across the country, hence their appointment.
'Three of you are brought in to strengthen the political activities of the country and one brought in to strengthen the economic activities of the country and these are the pillars of any country. For you to build economy you must have a solid political base and we have been working hard on the economic front.'
'But, we must also consolidate the political base otherwise, no one will want to invest in a country where there is anarchy everywhere. We must build solid political base for the economy to thrive. We believe you are quite experienced from your citation and you will bring your experience to bear to assist those of us already here to stabilise the polity, to strengthen our economy to move Nigeria in the direction we expect. Nigerians expect the best from us and we should not disappoint them', he said.