The Chairman of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) has been relieved of his post.
The decision may not be unconnected with his lecture at the 78th birthday of former President Olusegun Obasanjo which was held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital last week.
Agwai in the lecture attacked the Jonathan administration, saying that the people needed change.
However, no reason was given for the sack in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Ruben Abati.
The president’s spokesman only said that the erstwhile SURE-P boss had been replaced by Mr. Ishaya Dare Akau with immediate effect.
Agwai, a former Chief of Defence Staff, was appointed chairman of SURE-P on February 7, 2014 following the resignation of former Nigerian High Commissioner to United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade, who was the agency’s pioneer chairman.
The statement by Abati cited the need for the Federal Government to re-energise and reposition the agency for optimal service deliver as reason why Agwai was replaced.
Agwai, who was appointed Chief of Army Staff by the Obasanjo administration, had in the lecture said: “In life you find out that everything needs change. If that is what the community wants, what the people want, you must give it to them and as such, it becomes inevitable”.
Obasanjo, an estranged godfather of President Jonathan, had openly been critical of the incumbent president and had advocated change in the running of the country.
Agwai, in the lecture, added: “You can have everything nice, but if you don’t have the right leadership to propel it, it cannot go anywhere. Integrity matters, doing what is good for the larger society, and not just what you want to do for a narrow society to please yourself.”
Meanwhile, in announcing Agwai’s sack, Abati in the statement said: “In furtherance of his efforts to continuously re-energize and reposition agencies of the Federal Government for optimal service delivery, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has appointed Mr. Ishaya Dare Akau as the new Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).
“Mr. Akau, whose appointment takes immediate effect, replaces Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), who served as Chairman of the SURE-P until today (yesterday)”.
The new SURE-P chairman hails from Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State and holds Bachelors’ Degree 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,” Abati added.