PRESIDENTIAL aides deemed not to have added value to activities of government and the promotion of the image of President Goodluck Jonathan may be sacked any moment from now following security reports on acts of misdemeanors levelled against some of them, Saturday Tribune can report.
The need for President Jonathan to demonstrate seriousness and commitment to his ambition for reelection in 2015 is one of the reasons he may ease off aides in this category, according to recent findings.
He has, of late, commenced reconciliatory moves with aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), mending fences with former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his last visit to the General’s residence in Abeokuta, and is said to be making moves to meet more retired Generals on the same initiatives.
A serving minister told Saturday Tribune that apart from security reports that variously indicted many of the presidential aides and certain cabinet members, reports from aggrieved elders of the PDP had pointed towards the excesses of some of the aides.
The aggregate concern on the excesses of some presidential aides, as disclosed, was that many of them were the cause of the stand-off the president has been having with leading PDP members, because they have been benefiting from such tremendously.
Some of the aides were said to have been fuelling discord between the president and many of those he was hitherto on good terms with – on flimsy excuses, a situation said to have kept many of the leaders away from seat of power.
Another top government functionary disclosed that the president and members of his think-tank realised this much each time the president called for breakfast meetings with eminent Nigerians and all he could find surrounding the tables were third-rate or, oftentimes, lowly rated individuals. “Good people could no longer be found around the President,” the source said.
There have been complaints that certain presidential aides are also in the habit of using the media to fight perceived enemies of the president, most especially those who had served in high political offices, in the name of defending the president, while ultimately worsening the rating of the president with such actions.
Saturday Tribune learnt also that for Jonathan to be taken seriously on his moves to reconcile with aggrieved members of the PDP as well as retied Generals, he would have to relieve those adjudged as most recalcitrant and corrupt of their jobs, being the strong suggestions put to him by those he had so far consulted with.
Meanwhile, the president has shown open reluctance in changing his cabinet despite consistent promptings from well wishers and close advisers, based on his expressed belief that the cabinet members he appointed since 2007 require time to learn the ropes in manning their respective ministries effectively.