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Sweeping changes in the corridors of power

By Donu Kogbara

MR. President is clearly in fighting form at the moment because he has recently sacked, transferred or politely edged out a number of senior officials who were previously regarded as sacred cows.

Since the new year dawned, Lt-General Azubike Ihejirika (former Chief of Army Staff) has gone, as has Alhaji Bamangar Tukur (one time Chairman of the PDP).

Ditto Princess Stella Oduah and Elder Godsday Orubebe (the ex-Ministers of Aviation and Niger Delta) and Mike Oghiadome (erstwhile Villa Chief of Staff).  Meanwhile, Joseph Mbu (the now-famous Commissioner of Police who was constantly at loggerheads with the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi), has been firmly redeployed to the Federal Capital Territory beat.

Special relationship

Even though Mbu has been moved rather than removed, many people are interpreting this development as a reprimand from the Head of State (this viewpoint is expressed by those who see Mbu as a troublemaker who was thoroughly enjoying the gra-gra he was accused of instigating in my home state).

All of the above were said to have sound or special relationships with the President and/or the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. And it was widely assumed that they could all count on staying put until the election. But the President has proved that his Transformation Agenda can also be ruthlessly applied to individuals whom he may personally like (or at least have nothing against) if the individuals in question are highly controversial or simply no longer compatible with his plans. And I applaud him for acting so decisively.

It is possible that some of the above did not deserve to be dumped. For example, a lot of my Igbo friends and brethren – my mother is from Imo State – and a handful of non-Igbos are furiously insisting that Ihejirika was a fine soldier who was extremely loyal to Jonathan.  I also know people who praise Oduah, Tukur, Mbu et al and say that they were unfairly vilified or simply that they should be forgiven for their mistakes because folks who have allegedly committed bigger outrages are still in office.

But it matters not that everyone does not share Mr. President’s desire for change. All that matters is that HE wanted change (for whatever reason) and had every right to want change and made sure he got change……and has shown the world that he is not a weakling who is always driven by cronyistic considerations…and is capable of pumping fresh air into the corridors of power from time to time.


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