by Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
Indications emerged in Abuja on Sunday that the Presidency decided to deny the rumoured cabinet reshuffle last week because of its belief that the rumour has its root in the politics of 2015.
There have been media reports lately suggesting that President Goodluck Jonathan had concluded plans to sack some ministers and eject new blood into his cabinet.
The reports became widespread to the extent that the Presidency had to issue a statement on Wednesday, saying Jonathan did not have any intention to sack his ministers for now.
In the statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President claimed that the reports of the alleged imminent cabinet reshuffle were aimed at causing disaffection within his cabinet and diverting ministers’ attention from their assignment.
Our correspondent learnt that the Presidency decided to issue the statement based on its conviction that some highly-placed politicians were spreading the news as part of their strategies ahead of the 2015 elections.
According to the source said the Presidency suspected that the politicians wanted to use the reports to whip up public sympathy against some key members of the cabinet they think will be helpful to Jonathan in case he decides to re-contest in 2015.
The source added that the belief among the politicians was that once the ministers were no longer sure of their positions, they would not be keen on backing the President for the 2015 race.
He said a politician who was initially part of the plan later had a rethink and leaked the information to the government.
It added the Presidency decided to reduce the tension by denouncing the cabinet reshuffle story when it discovered that some politicians were already recording success in their bid to plant the seed of discord in the cabinet.
Our correspondent learnt that those who were identified as main actors that could give the Jonathan 2015 presidency the required political backbone are the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Wogu; Minister of Niger Delta, Mr. Godsday Orubebe; and Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro.
Others are the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed; Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke; Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; and the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike.
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