Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why Jonathan suspended Interior minister

Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, suspended the Minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho, from office alleging official lapses.
The suspension of the minister was enveloped in the political intrigues in his native Imo State where he was alleged to have supported opposition party candidates during the National Assembly elections against Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidates promoted by Governor Ikedi Ohakim.

National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, who had last week called on the President to sack the Minister on the basis of the alleged anti-party activities, yesterday, welcomed the President’s action.

Metu  told Vanguard that the suspension should be a warning to other ministers in the federal cabinet who he alleged were equally involved in anti-party activities.

The party’s national vice chairman alleged that the Presidential Adviser on Energy, Prof. Barth Nnaji was one of those allegedly involved in anti-party activities who should retrace their steps.

Opposition party supporters

Opposition party supporters in Imo State, however, faulted the suspension of Ihenacho from office as they claimed that the presidency was pandering to the whims of Governor Ohakim.

There were speculations that Ambassador Kema Chikwe who was defeated in the Imo East senate election by Senator Chris Anyanwu, the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA candidate may have been positioned to replace Ihenacho in the cabinet.

Ihenacho was speculated to have supported Senator Anyanwu against Chikwe in the Imo East Senatorial election on April 9. Anyanwu won the election.

Announcing the suspension of the minister in a terse statement yesterday, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, said: “President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ordered the immediate suspension of Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho as Minister of Interior and member of the Federal Executive Council.    “Capt. Iheanacho has been directed to hand over to the Minister of Labour, Mr. Emeka Wogu, who will, in addition to his present portfolio, oversee that ministry.”

Welcoming the suspension yesterday, Metuh lamented the disloyalty of the minister to the ruling party in his home state saying he had asked the president to call him to order whilst also directing the Imo State chapter to set up a disciplinary committee to investigate his activities and recommend necessary sanction against him.

Noting that the President’s action was indicative of a listening President, Metuh said:  “The president has shown that he is a peaceful man and that he has a listening ear.

The people of Imo State and the South East had cried out over the threat to peace and anti-party activity of the minister who had been using his office as Minister of Interior to mobilize operatives of Nigeria Prisons to harass PDP members in Imo State especially during the last elections.”
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