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How APC/PDP feud consumed sports minister

Jonathan yesterday relieved Abdullahi of his appointment and replaced him with one of the newly sworn-in ministers, Dr. Tamuno Danagogo from Rivers State.Following Saraki’s renouncing…

Jonathan yesterday relieved Abdullahi of his appointment and replaced him with one of the newly sworn-in ministers, Dr. Tamuno Danagogo from Rivers State.
Following Saraki’s renouncing of his membership of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), there has been pressure on Jonathan to sack Abdullahi who is believed to be loyal to Saraki.
Besides, the caretaker committee of the PDP in the state led by Delta-born Mr. Solomon Edoja had called for Abdullahi’s sack, accusing him of double loyalty-to both Jonathan and Saraki, who nominated him for the ministerial post in 2011.
Abdullahi was Special Adviser on Communications and Strategy to then-Governor Saraki in 2003-2007 before he was appointed Education Commissioner, a position he held until the end of Saraki’s second term in 2011.
Edoja, it would be recalled, had openly challenged Abdullahi to come out of the closet and declare where he belongs between the PDP and APC.
Sources in the PDP told Daily Trust that feelings within the PDP were that Abdullahi is a member of the APC serving under a PDP- Federal Government.  The minister was said to have denied the allegation, saying he is not a politician but a technocrat.
Indications of Abdullahi’s impending sack emerged Monday when Jonathan led members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to a reception rally held at the state metropolitan square.
Though Abdullahi was at the rally, his presence was never acknowledged throughout the period the programme lasted.
The PDP caretaker committee chairman, while commending Jonathan for appointing some indigenes of the state to very important positions, also omitted Abdullahi’s name.
Speaking on the minister’s sack, the PDP yesterday said Abdullahi was “a victim of his own antics”, saying he could not be serving a PDP government and then failed to associate with the party in his state.
Kwara PDP spokesman Mariam Al-Hassan told Daily Trust: “He (Abdullahi) was serving under the PDP government. He is a product of PDP. If PDP had not been in government, he wouldn’t have been appointed as a minister.
“You cannot say that you are serving under a PDP government at the national level and you are behaving differently at the state because he has never participated in all our programmes since the defection of his principal whom he calls his leader.”
The APC, for its part, described Abdullahi’s as a triumph of politics over excellence, insisting that the former minister was never a member of APC.
In a statement, Kwara APC spokesman Alhaji Sulyman Buhari said though Jonathan has the right to hire and fire, sacking “a performing Sports Minister three months to the World Cup speaks volume of the quality of Nigerian Presidency. This nature of politics is anti-people and anti-development.
“It bears repeating that the achievements of Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi are known to Nigerians and can hardly ever be captured by any book.  As the Minister of Sports, he steered the ministry’s ship to stardom and catapulted the nation’s sports sector to world class standard.”

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