© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
JONATHAN INAUGURATES OBANIKORO, 7 OTHERS MINISTERS
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday inaugurated the eight new ministers recently confirmed by the Senate before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting.
The former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, was sworn in as the Minister of State Foreign Affairs II. His nomination and final clearance by the Senate had been dogged by controversy for his involvement in the Ekiti State rigging scandal evidenced by an audio recording, but the Senate screened and cleared him amidst stiff opposition from lawmakers in the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Other appointees include Patricia Akwashiki (Information); Nicholas Ada (State, Foreign Affairs I); Musiliu Obanikoro (State, Foreign Affairs II); Augustine Akobundu (retd.) (State, Defence); Fidelis Nwankwo (State, Health); Hauwa Bappa (State, Niger Delta Affairs); Kenneth Kobani (State, Industry, Trade and Investment); and Joel Ikeya (Labour and Productivity).
The President also confirmed the Minister of State, Health, Khaliru Alhassan, as the Minister of Health. Alhassan had been acting as supervising Minister of Health since Onyebuchi Ckukwu resigned in 2014 to pursue political aspirations in his home state, Ebonyi.
President Jonathan also swore in two Federal Civil Service commissioners – Jonah Madugo, who will represent Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states and National Population Commission, Abimbola Salu-Hundeyi.
The President told the new ministers that they were coming in at the “injury time” noting also that Nigerians will be watching their moves.
“For the ministers this is an injury time. It is like bringing a player when you have just five minutes to go in a football match. So everyone wants to know what that player will do, the magic the player will perform within that short period. The player himself will be struggling to at least kick the ball before the end of the game,” the President stated.
The president congratulated the new appointees and expressed hope that they will join to serve the nation.