A reliable presidency source told Nigerian Pilot that Buhari is piqued by growing concerns and apprehension within and outside the country over the sharp decline in the economy as well as alleged mediocre input by his appointees and policy managers.
To this effect, it was learnt that the shakeup expected this month, (or most, during the first year anniversary of the administration due May 29) will affect ministers mostly. Although it is not clear whether some ministers would be dropped, the source was emphatic that most ministers might be relieved of their current portfolios and reassigned to others.
The frame work for this, it was also gathered, was mulled during his last trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia where his associates told him in plain terms that he is fast losing the goodwill that greeted his election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Buhari, it was further gathered, is disappointed with the conduct of ministers some of whom have been mentioned in corruption charges while others have divided allegiance.
In particular is a minister from the south east who was alleged to have used his position to foment political trouble in his state and consequently, stake holders have inundated the presidency with petitions asking President Buhari to rein in his minister. Three other ministers are said to be already in his bad books because of their alleged involvement in the budget padding controversy.
In addition, most ministers he found so shocking, are involved also with petty bickering with their colleagues while others’ main focus is how to advance their political fortunes at the cost of their duties. Buhari was said to be shocked at the level of sycophancy around him that he has lost confidence in most of them.
The associates also told the president that his support base, especially from the northern part of the country, has depleted alarmingly due to hardship and lack of benefits of campaign promises and thus the need to effect an immediate change in his cabinet and inject proactive people who will feel the pulse of the society, and proffer solutions. To this effect, he was advised to re-jig his economic team also.
Apart from ministers, it was learnt that the upper echelon of the civil service will also witness mass sack. Most of the Directors of MDGs are, according to investigation carried by anti-graft agencies saddled with the responsibility, corrupt and that the level of corruption unearthed by the agencies is so alarming that the president was shocked with the findings.
However, a presidency source who does not want his name mentioned as he is not authorised to speak on the matter, however, debunked the report. According to him, “There is no truth in this. It is too early for any change in cabinet or sack. How can you judge the performance of ministers who have not operated any budget?” he queried. He stressed that, although things have been in low tempo, the president will study the situation adequately before taking any decision.