Earlier today, Presidential spokesperson Reuben Abati announced that the SURE-P chairman, Martin Luther Agwai, had been relieved of his post in order to re-energize the parastatal. However, new reports say that Mr. Agwai was sacked for attending former president Obasanjo’s birthday event last week against the directives by the president that no one in the current administration was to attend the festivities.
Mr. Agwai would be the second SURE-P chairman to be sacked after disagreeing with the president. He replaced Christopher Kolade, who left office after criticising the president. The statement by Reuben Abati says Ishaya Dare Akau, an experienced administrator in the civil service is to replace Gen. Agwai with immediate effect. See the government's position on the sack of Agwai below, and the report by Premium Times also.
Reuben Abati's statement
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.
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. President Jonathan thanks the outgoing Chairman of SURE-P, Gen Agwai for his service to the nation and wishes him well in his future endeavours.
Reuben Abati Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity)
March 10, 2015
Premium Times report;
Premium Times understands reliably that Mr. Agwai was fired for flouting a presidential instruction that no government official or member of the ruling PDP, should attend the birthday event of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, last week.
Sources within the presidency told Premium Times that all government functionaries were instructed by President Jonathan to boycott Mr. Obasanjo’s birthday event.
Our sources said when informed of the president’s warning, Mr. Agwai, who climbed to the pinnacle of his career under the Obasanjo administration, said he will go ahead and attend the function, more so, in view of the president’s directive. Our sources said for daring the president, it was clear Mr. Agwai would be fired.
One source said it appears Mr. Agwai was informed ahead of the announcement of his removal Tuesday, as the former defence chief arrived early at the SURE-P office to pack his belongings.