President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday fired his Special Assistant on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak with immediate effect.
This is coming as Gulak’s home governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako, sympathized with the former Presidential aide but sermonized that his experience would be a caution to politicians on the transient nature of power.
Although no official reason was given for Gulak’s sack, there are insinuations that he may have been axed for having the temerity to challenge the authority of the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) and the governor of Akwa-Ibom, Godswill Akpabio, recently by sneaking into the state capital to inaugurate an NGO, Goodluck Support Group (GSG), without according the governor his statutory courtesies.
Gulak’s action was reported to have infuriated Akpabio who protested the breach of protocol to the President in Abuja even as he urged the Presidential Aide to preoccupy himself with the task of delivering his home Adamawa state to Jonathan by 2015 as the President needs no campaign in Akwa Ibom state.
Gulak, whose replacement would be announced soon, according to Jonathan’s spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, was also accused by Akpabio of fraternizing with his known political enemies in the state.
Mr. Nsima Ekere, former deputy to Akpabio who was impeached and the sacked former Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Akwa-Ibom state, Umana’s Okon Umana, who has never hidden his ambition to succeed the governor were said to be at the head of the GSG in Uyo.
Both Ekere and Umana belong to a splinter PDP opposed to the governor’s succession plans in Akwa Ibom.
Akpabio, a known die hard supporter of Jonathan, in protest urged the President to call Gulak to order. But few days after the warning, the Presidential aide was fired.
Apart from Akpabio’s personal protest against Gulak’s action, the state faction of the mainstream PDP, after a meeting in Uyo, condemned the Presidential Aide’s visit “to inaugurate a sectional and unknown Support Group in favour of our dear President without bothering to pay any courtesies to the state leadership of the party.”
The party accused the politician of playing “ignoble and contemptuous role” in the affairs of the party in the state and warned him to desist from further interfering in the affairs of the PDP in Akwa Ibom.
It would be recalled that Jonathan’s former Chief of Staff, Mike Ogiadhome, was sacked when he denied the Sokoto state governor, Alhaji Aliyu Matagakarda Wamakko, his courtesies by having the President visit Sokoto for political rally recently without the knowledge of the governor.
Besides, Gulak was said to have stepped on so many big toes, especially in the north, making Jonathan’s second term ambition a bit difficult to sell in the region.
Apart from these, an online medium had recently alleged that Gulak belongs to the class of politicians in the country who ran or still run secret offshore companies and accounts where they either hide their wealth to evade taxes, launder money or commit fraud.
According to the medium, Gulak, whose company dealt in the supply of fast boats, radial systems and naval communication equipment as well as military hardware to the Nigerian government, was linked to Erojim, a secret shell company in the British Virgin Islands, one of the world’s most notorious tax havens.
Taking advantage of the loose laws in several jurisdictions, the medium alleged, shell companies like Gulak’s are easy to form and owners can remain anonymous while using nominee directors as fronts and deploying the corporations to hide ill-gotten assets, launder funds, dodge litigations or evade tax.
The sacked Presidential Aide, the medium maintained, declined to respond to the allegation at the time, and the Nigerian government failed to open an investigation.
Meanwhile, Governor Murtala Nyako has sympathized with Gulak over his sudden sack by the Presidency.
Nyako also felt very bad over the reported wild jubilation by people of Gulak Town Madagali Local Government Area in the State on the development and hoped that he (Gulak) should have learnt a lesson from the transient nature of power.
Nyako who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mallam Ahmad I Sajoh, regretted that Gulak was supposed to be an adviser to the President but turned to be self imposed spokesman of the Presidency insulting and vilifying imaged and passive enemies.
“But today, the real presidential spokesman has spoken by showing the exit route to him (Gulak) unceremoniously”.
He also described the development of his (Gulak) people’s celebration over the removal as a pity and a big lesson to the political class especially those in the corridors of power.
Our Correspondent in Yola gathered that even in the state capital, some politicians held that the Presidency had done the right thing by removing one of those they alleged are overheating the polity unnecessarily.