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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nigerian Military Chief Fires All Government Agency Heads

The Nigerian military ruler General Sani Abacha on Friday fired directors of all government companies and agencies with immediate effect, an official statement said.

It said Abacha had dissolved the boards of all federal agencies and asked the scores of directors to turn in official property in their care. Among organizations affected are the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Ports Authority, National Electric Power Authority and scores of other government agencies.

"The dissolution takes immediate effect," the statement said. It gave no explanation for the firings but Abacha is widely expected to reshuffle his government soon.

Abacha, facing an eight-week-old strike by workers in the critically important oil sectors, fired Monday his army and navy chiefs and has promised other changes to deal with the crisis over the annulment of last year's presidential vote.

The oil unions are demanding the installation as Nigerian president of Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled poll, who is facing treason charges. The unions' leaders, who have also been fired by Abacha, said Friday they had gone into hiding to avoid arrest. Many members remain on strike despite the order that they should resume work by Thursday or risk dismissal.