President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday administered the oath of office on Professor Chinedu Nebo and Alhaji Kabiru Saminu Turaki (SAN), the two new ministers whose nominations were recently approved by the Senate.
The President however refused to announce the portfolios of the Ministers, fuelling suspicions that a cabinet reshuffle may take place soon, especially in the Defence Ministry where it is already being discussed in hushed tones that someone that has a military background would be considered for the position. The President directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to issue letters assigning portfolios to the new Ministers before the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. He challenged the Ministers to prove their worth in the discharge of their duties.
At the oath taking ceremony, President Jonathan said: “we are admitting two new ministers into our fold. Just like when the coach introduces sometimes 10 minutes to the end of the game and you are introduced to the field, they expect you to score the next goal So, Nigerians are expecting that if I am bringing ministers in at this time, I must be bringing people that will strengthen the team and make sure I bring people that will score more goals than we are already scoring.
And if Nigerians don’t realise that, they will feel that I am not a good coach. So, you are welcome on board. You will be formerly inaugurated again on Wednesday when we will have the FEC meeting. You will get your letter from the SGF and I will assign you to where we think you will serve this great country.”
The vacant positions are those of the Ministers of Defence and Power which became unoccupied after Dr Haliru Bello Mohammed was sacked and Professor Barth Nnaji resigned.