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Tue, Mar

Suspension of FEC Meeting: Cabinet Reshuffle Imminent As Fashola, Adeosun, Ngige Out, Oshiomhole, Tallen In

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The last is yet to be disclosed about the unexpected suspension of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

While the President's special adviser on media and publicity insists that Buhari jettisoned the meeting to receive the report of the committee investigating allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke, it has emerged the President has instead grown weary of some of his underperforming Ministers.

Mr President is bent on re-jigging his team in the face of growing agitations across the country, and the need to reposition ahead of 2019.

According to insider sources, a good number of the current Ministers are on their way out and the President wanted to allow ample time, following his return, for them to put their various Ministries in order for new appointees.

Having learnt from his delayed appointment of the Ministers upon the assumption of his presidency, Buhari is also said to be disposed to having ready and competent replacements for those that will get the sack.

Top among the Ministers that may likely go are Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, FCT Minister, Muhammadu Bello and Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun.

Others include Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, Defence Minister, Dan Ali and Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu.

In Fashola's case, it is considered that the combination of critical ministries has become too burdensome for his supervision. While he may yet be retained, it is believed that he will be assigned to supervise only a section of the now combined Ministry as the Executive considers a reversal to the initial ministerial structure.

The current FCT Minister is most likely to be axed as a source claimed he has been "largely absent and redundant" while the FCT under his watch has plunged into "darkness and dirt."

The source further said that Kemi Adeosun's was a simple matter of the Ministry of Finance being bigger than the Minister of Finance. A claim that trailed her appointment and has plagued her performance with the economy still grappling with recession.

Also, the latest upsurge of the Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges has forced the President to consider changes in the political leadership of the armed forces with Brig. Gen. Dan Ali (Rtd) certain to see the exit door.

Inconsistency in education policy and claim that the administration planned to ban Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) has cost the President goodwill amongst Christian faithful's. As a strategy towards securing that critical base, the President’s hammer may fall on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.

Labour Minister, Chris Ngige may have also seen his last days in the Ministry, with the resurgence of sundry labour agitations not helping his continued stay while the mixed fortunes of the various national sports teams in recent times, may have finally caught up with Minister for Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung.

If the cabinet reshuffle happens before the next FEC meeting, Nigerians may see the likes of former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole and former deputy governor of Plateau, Pauline Tallen.

Oshiomhole is highly preferred to head the Labour Ministry to halt the emergent labour agitations from snowballing into an unwanted political setback for the APC going into 2019.

Mrs Tallen has remained within the radar of possible appointments by the President after she maturely turned down her ambassadorial nomination in 2016 over the need for political "balancing of appointments" and her now late husband's poor health. The expected exit of Dalung should pave way for her appointment as she is very highly considered among presidency circles.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu is also set to emerge the substantive Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), in a move by the Presidency to douse separatist agitations in the South-East and to also reward his long-standing loyalty to the APC.