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Suspense Over Looming Cabinet, Security Rejig By Buhari

Hints of imminent changes in the Federal Executive Council and the national security architecture by President Muhammadu Buhari have created suspense among ministers and service chiefs, The Nation learnt last night.

The reshuffle may take place between now and October, according to dependable sources.

The President is said to be considering various issues, controversies and security reports on some ministers.

Pressure has been mounting on the President for some time now to replace the service chiefs following the increasing wave of killings and kidnappings in parts of the country.

Buhari held another round of meeting with the service chiefs on Tuesday to consider the security situation in the country with National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno telling reporters at the end of the deliberation that the President had ordered “an immediate re-engineering of the entire security apparatus.”

The NSA gave no details or how soon this might be.

It was gathered that President’s session with the Service Chiefs was a window for another opportunity to see whether there might be an improvement in the nation’s security situation.

According to findings some controversial ministers and a few others with allegations of corrupt practices in their ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) might be dropped.

Some underperforming ministers may also be dropped if there is no improvement by October.

Sources also said some members of the kitchen cabinet and a few others who have the ear of the President have been pushing for some changes in the cabinet and in the security apparatchik.

It was gathered that information about the covert advisory to effect changes in the cabinet reached the ministers and is now causing suspense among them.

The difficulty in knowing the mindset of the President by ministers and service chiefs on the pending rejig has compounded the anxiety over the impending changes.

Notwithstanding, some ministers and service chiefs have been lobbying those closer to the corridors of powers to retain their posts.

A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The options before the President are either to retain or effect reshuffling of some of these ministers who have issues and Service Chiefs.

“The preponderance of opinions is that the nation is due for changes to address security challenges in the country and to increase the pace of this administration.

“The President has received advisory from his kitchen cabinet members, strategists and well-meaning friends.

“There might be changes in the cabinet and security apparatuses between August and October.

“A unique style of the President is that he does not act on the spur of the moment. He will consider relevant security reports, covert evaluation of ministers and their MDAs and other indices before effecting changes.

“But controversial ones and those linked with corrupt practices may go.

“You can see that the NSA during the week alluded to the likely rejig of the nation’s security architecture.”

Another source said following the leak of the rejig, some ministers and service chiefs have been anxious and they have started lobbying.

“Some ministers and service chiefs are lobbying either to be retained or elevated to a higher position.

“There is suspense everywhere because President Buhari does things silently based on conviction and realities.

“It is not as if the President is insensitive to security challenges and a few other socio-economic issues, but he takes his time to study situations before carrying out changes.

“He gives each public officer the benefit of the doubt.”

Some governors were said to have joined the league of those canvassing for the retention of some service chiefs.

A few other governors have been calling for a change of the ministers from their states.

The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, was the latest to make a case for the retention of the service chiefs.

Speaking during the ground breaking of Nigeria Army Reference Hospital, Abakaliki, Umahi said there was no need for changes.

He said: “The Chief of Army Staff needs cooperation and information so that they can do their work.

“We should increase the funding and logistics of the Army to aid their performance rather than changing them.

“They should increase their funding. The Army is very crucial for the Nigerian people.”

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