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Why Jonathan fired me as Housing Minister – Ama Pepple opens up

Former Head of Service and Minister of Housing in the President Goodluck Jonathan government, Ms Ama Pepple has finally opened up about her sack last September.

Pepple said she believes the President is uncomfortable with her links with Amaechi who reportedly nominated her as minister from Rivers.

No, no, no. You want me to go and make appointment that I want to discuss my removal with him? No!

I believe that is what happened.

How did you receive the news?

How did you get the information? Did he tell you to resign, or you read it in the papers or he called you that you were going to leave?

Not at all.

Are you still in the PDP or you moved with Amaechi to APC?

What does your removal from Jonathan’s cabinet portend for the people of Rivers at the time it came?

People have been wondering why you have remained silent over the politics of Rivers state. What is actually going on?

You know sometimes, the wise people tell us that silence is golden. So, I decided to remain silent.

Ama Pepple

According to her, Jonathan removed her from office because she sought to make peace between him and the governor of Rivers, Rotimi Amaechi.

What could  I do? The President has the prerogative to hire and fire.

Yeah.

You begged him in July?

When we were removed, it was common knowledge, the reasons why we were removed. So, people just accepted it. What do you do? It is the President’s prerogative.

Between when you begged the President and when you were removed from office, what was the duration ?

You believe?

About that time. I can’t remember.

Are you not a journalist? Don’t you know what happened that day? We were told after the Executive Council meeting, the names of the ministries that their ministers were leaving the cabinet.

There is this issue that President Jonathan removed you from office after you begged for Governor Rotimi Amaechi. Is it true?

Have you had audience with him since that time?

You left office at the time ministers who were nominated by governors opposed to President Jonathan left office. What actually happened? Was it also in your own case?

Ok. If you want to hear that story, listen to me. While I was still in the cabinet and this thing is common knowledge because I was not alone with him when I did it. Because I was surprised that week we were removed. I saw it on the pages of newspapers. Ok, I shouldn’t have been surprised because after the incident, I went to Port Harcourt and people were coming to say oh, we heard that you begged the President.

by Akan Ido

My Bible tells me that blessed are the peacemakers.

And you left office September?

So, you believe that was why you also left office?

Read Excerpts of the interview below:

Definitely. I believe so.

July, maybe August, September. Maybe two, three months. Not more than that.

Nigerians really want to know what happened…

I know. That must be the reason. Ok, as a minster, how do you think I performed? You are a Nigerian, assessing me. Did I do badly? Was I not efficient, effective and hardworking?

Our elders came from Rivers state. Amaechi was not there. They were led by Victor Odilli. He is the chairman of Rivers State Elders Forum. He was there. Justice Karibi-Whyte was there, Professor Tekena Tamuno was there. These are men in their 80s. There was Professor Fubara who was honoured in the centenary celebration. There was Professor Nimi Briggs who at one time was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT). There was Osi Harry, the former Executive Director of Finance, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). There was also Chief. Agbarho, a civil servant and there was also a lady, Dr Constance Sarowiyo. She is from Ogoni and she was much, much my senior in the secondary school. We went to the same secondary school but I didn’t meet her in school. She was one time a commissioner in Rivers state. So, this problem just started, but we could see the signs that it was not a healthy thing. And all of them without exception, spoke and asked that there should be peace, there should be forgiveness and peace so that the people in Rivers state will be comfortable and feel safe in their environment. I added my voice to it and I begged. I also begged Amaechi so that peace can reign. The Bible says blessed are the peacemakers.

No comment.

So, there was no prior information?

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