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Akunyili, Abbe, Gada justify ministers’ sack, score selves high

By Kingsley Omonobi & Laide Akinboade

Former Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, Thursday, said the dissolution of  the Federal Executive Council, FEC,  by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, was in the best interest of the nation.

Akunyili stated this while handing over to the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Professor Nicolas Damachi.

It will be recalled that Jonathan on Wednesday sacked FEC after a seven- hour meeting that was presided over by him.

In an emotional voice, “As the Holy Bible says, ‘there is time for everything.’ As the time comes for departure, I am leaving with unshaken faith in the destiny of our great country, Nigeria. It is faith that informed our re-branding Nigeria project and I am glad that we used that initiative to help the ordinary Nigerian begin the journey of re-discovery both for self and motherland.”

When she was asked about her opinion on the dissolution of the cabinet, she said, considering what the nation is going through politically, it is in the best interest of the nation. “Given the ongoing political tension in Nigeria the dissolution of the cabinet is probably in the best interest of the country.”

On her plans, she said, “I will take the opportunity to rest, reflect on the past  and weigh my options for the future.”

Responding, Damachi thanked the former minister for her services to the nation.

Abbe praises self

However, the ex-Minister of Defence, Major-General Godwin Abbe (rtd), yesterday said the cabinet’s dissolution was a necessary aspect of the nation’s political evolution whose ultimate aim was moving the country to achieving its potentials.

He made this while handing over to the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Ezekiel Oyemomi.

On his achievements as defence minister, Abbe said he was proud that he was able to take the ministry to greater heights pointing out that “in the areas of restructuring, re-equipping, training and accommodation of the armed forces, I will score myself high.”

Said he, “Looking back, we have been given an opportunity to serve, we worked as a team and the ministry has developed with wonderful understanding.

We now know the various challenges and can now defend our country in a more methodical manner. Dissolution of the cabinet is a necessary aspect of our political evolution and we are moving on.”

Gada hands over

Relatedly, the former Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Senator Jibrin Bello Gada, yesterday, joined his colleagues in handing over  to the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Sheidu Ozigiz.

Reacting to the dissolution of FEC by the Acting President, he said government is all about change.

According to  him, “The Acting President came on board and there are many things that require rejuvenation in the country. So, it is necessary for him to take some actions in order to move the country forward.”

Gada noted that his greatest achievement was being able to manage the ministry effectively without having any major crisis.

“The ministry used to have two ministers before now, but I thank God that I was able to manage the ministry so well for close to the 13 months I have been here as a minister, it was not easy but I was able to pull through.”

He urged the Federal Government to increase the budget allocated to the ministry, saying poor  funding flawed most of the projects in the ministry.

Earlier,  Ozigiz  had assured the former minister of the ministry’s support always.


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