Police chief Suleiman Abba got the push on Tuesday – an action that has got many jittery.
Crippled by the sack fever are presidential aides,heads of key public institutions and ministers. There is a presidential directive that they should not hobnob with All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, it was learnt.
Government officials have been warned to desist from having any “unholy alliances” with the incoming President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
A top presidential aide confirmed the existence of an official directive, warning all those involved in putting together the administration’s handover notes to be wary of any liaison with the incoming administration as such would be taken as an act of disloyalty to the Federal Government and the President.
The popular thinking is that Abba’s removal could be the beginning of a gale of sackings and summary dismissals of top government officials seen to be scheming to work with the incoming leadership.
The aide said: “We are all living in some kind of fear. I am not even sure if I will bow out with this administration on May 29, 2015. Apart from verbal warnings, there is also a memo to that effect, which clearly warns against any affiliation or unholy romance with either the leadership of the APC or its president-elect.
“It does not matter whether some of these persons are personal friends or people you have business interests with. As long as you are seen with them while still working with this administration, it is seen as an act of sabotage. The President will not hesitate to sack any political appointee who flouts the order.
“What the President demands at this critical period is 100 per cent loyalty. He expects all of us to bow out of the government with him, regardless of whether or not our professional competence would be required by the incoming government, at least before it stabilises.”
The aide, who said he had submitted his handover notes to the appropriate authorities, believes that it is not impossible that many of them may be sacked in less than 40 days to the exit date of the Jonathan administration.
Among such aides are those who are believed to have abandoned their jobs since President Jonathan lost the election.
There are also those who are busy trying to change their duty posts to places where they consider “safe” from the incoming administration’s axe.
A senior government official said last night that such drastic actions were not unexpected.
“In fact, it started a long time ago, with the sack of Martin-Luther Agwai after he spoke about change at Obasanjo’s birthday lecture.”
Agwai was head of SURE-P, a department created by the government to deploy saved fuel subsidy cash for the provision of infrastructure and jobs.