President Goodluck Jonathan has fired Martin-Luther Agwai as the head of his government’s intervention unit, Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) Premium Times reports.
According to Daily Trust, this came barely five days after Agwai had said that leadership change was inevitable in Nigeria and that the country’s leaders must accept it and move with it.
He said this while speaking last Thursday at the 78th birthday celebration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta.
Agwai had also cautioned the military to stay out of partisan politics if they must win the war against Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges.
He was appointed by Jonathan to head SURE-P on February 6, 2014, a department created by the government to deploy saved fuel subsidy money for the provision of critical infrastructure and jobs.
In a statement on Tuesday, presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, named Ishaya Dare Akau as the new head of SURE-P.
The presidency did not give any reason for Agwai’s removal, other than “in furtherance of his efforts to continuously re-energize and reposition agencies of the Federal Government for optimal service delivery”.
“Mr. Akau, whose appointment takes immediate effect, replaces Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd.) who served as chairman of the SURE-P until today. The new SURE-P chairman hails from Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State and holds Bachelors’ Degrees in the Arts and Law.
“Mr. Akau comes to the job with years of experience as a high-level administrator in the nation’s public service. His record of service includes tenures as Chairman of the Kaduna State Universal Education Board and Chairman of the National Assembly Service Commission”.
The presidential aide said Jonathan thanked the outgoing SURE-P chairman, Agwai, for his service to the nation and wished him well in his future endeavours.
Premium Times reports that Agwai was fired for flouting a presidential instruction that no government official or member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should attend the birthday event of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, last week.
Jonathan and the former president have been locked in a longstanding row which has seen Obasanjo repeatedly criticize the president publicly.
Martin Luther Agwai, is a retired four-star general in the Nigerian Army, former Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Defence Staff, and one of Nigeria’s most admired public figures who positioned Nigeria on the world map of military excellence as the Force Commander of the combined United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur.