I am “paying the price of loyalty,” said Bwala.
The Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, on Friday, sacked his Information Commissioner, Inuwa Bwala.
The reason for his sack was not stated, even though Mr. Bwala told journalists on phone that he was “paying the price of loyalty.”
Two Senior Special Assistants, Makinta Zarami and Bukar Bolori, were also kicked out of the cabinet.
According to a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Baba Jidda, Mr. Bwala’s office would be overseen for now by Muhammed Bulama, an adviser to Mr. Shettima on Research, Documentation and Strategy.
The statement read: “Governor Kashim Shettima has relieved the Borno State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Mr. Inuwa Bwala of his position as member of the State Executive Council.
“Governor Shettima directs the Commissioner to handover the affairs of the ministry to the permanent secretary of his former ministry. Governor Shettima has also directed the Special Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mohammed Bulama, to take over and oversee the ministry pending the appointment of a substantive commissioner.
“Similarly, Governor Kashim Shettima has also relieved two Senior Special Assistants, Makinta Zarami and Ali Umar Bolori of their positions. Governor Shettima expresses appreciation to the former commissioner and the two Senior Special Assistants for their respective contributions under his administration. The three changes are with immediate effect.”
Speaking to journalists on phone, Mr. Bwala said he was not surprised by his sack.
“I’m not surprised because I have been preparing for it for a long time. I saw it coming and I thank God for everything, because it is part of my policy in public service to begin preparing for my exit the first day I take up appointment in public office. Loyalty has a price, and those who have the culture of keeping loyalty must be prepared to pay the price.
“I’m happy that today, I am paying the price for loyalty. I thank the governor for giving me the opportunity to serve in his government up to this moment. We are all members of the big APC family, and I am always ready to work in the interest of the party. I nurse no ill-feelings against him or anybody, because this will not alter my loyalty to our party. I thank God for keeping me in office this far, and for seeing that it ended well and not on any negative note.”
According to the observers of the political terrain in Borno, the termination of Mr. Bwala’s appointment will further deepen the crisis between Mr. Shettima and his political benefactor and predecessor, Ali Sheriff.
Mr. Bwala, who is a loyalist to Mr. Sheriff, has often been accused of being disloyal to Mr. Shettima, an accusation he has repeatedly denied.
The sack of Messrs. Zarami and Bolori has also been linked to the cold war between the incumbent governor and his predecessor. The sacked aides are allegedly strong supporters of Muhammed Imama, a former commissioner in the state. Mr. Imama has reportedly been chosen by Mr. Sheriff to challenge Governor Shettima in 2015.
Mr. Shettima had on Thursday told journalists, during a stakeholders meeting of APC in Maiduguri, that there was no rift between him and Mr. Sheriff. He also denied that the APC in Borno was factionalised.
Friday’s dismissals are the first since Mr. Shettima assumed office as governor in May, 2011.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...