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Nigeria: Buhari’s mini cabinet reshuffle raises eyebrows ahead of 2023 polls

By Dele Yusuf
Posted on Monday, 13 September 2021 16:56, updated on Tuesday, 14 September 2021 15:09

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari gestures after cutting an inauguration tape as he commissions projects during his visit to Imo State, Nigeria September 9, 2021. Nigerian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

For the first time in his six years in office, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari sacked two of his ministers in a cabinet reshuffle in the first week of September. Though the president claimed it was done based on a performance review, some believe Buhari carried out the mini reshuffle “to save face” amid growing criticisms over the worsening state of affairs on all fronts.

Nigeria has been a theatre of drama lately. There’s the attack on the country’s elite military school, the continued abduction of school children, the lockdown of states in the country’s northwest region, the violent secession in the southeast and then the struggle for businesses and the economy to survive. But none of that beats President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to relieve two federal ministers of their positions.

The development was received with mixed reactions not just because of recent events that further cast doubts on Buhari’s performance and that of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), but also because it was an unprecedented move; the only other time he reshuffled his cabinet was almost a year ago when he redeployed two ministers who swapped their positions.