* Presidency says chief of staff resigned
* Wave of government changes before 2015 election
(Adds quote, background)
ABUJA Feb 10 Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan has dismissed his chief of staff, three senior
government sources told Reuters on Monday, extending a wave of
government changes a year before elections.
Africa's second largest economy and biggest oil producer is
advancing as an investment destination but political instability
is a concern for investors, especially as wasteful government
spending tends to spike ahead of elections.
Presidency spokesman Reuben Abati told reporters that chief
of staff Mike Oghiadomhe had resigned because he wanted to
pursue political opportunities in the ruling People's Democratic
Party (PDP). Government sources said he was sacked.
Jonathan is facing a crisis within the PDP centred around
his assumed intention to run for another term in the 2015
election. He has yet to say whether or not he will do so.
Five powerful state governors and dozens of lawmakers have
defected to the recently formed coalition All Progressives
Congress (APC), mostly politicians from the largely-Muslim
north. Jonathan is a Christian from the southern oil region.
Analysts say Jonathan is still favourite to win a second
term, if he runs, in a country where incumbents rarely lose.
Jonathan last month overhauled his military high command and
appointed 12 new cabinet ministers, while the chairman of the
"He is removing divisive figures and asserting his authority
by aligning the people he thinks will get him in the best shape
for next year," a senior government source said.
"Election campaigning has already begun."
Jonathan has been accused, most recently by his former
mentor and twice president Olusegun Obasanjo, of stuffing
government posts with people from his southern region.
Oghiadomhe hails from Edo state in the south and analysts
will be watching to see if Jonathan appoints a northern
replacement as chief of staff to appease his detractors.
(Reporting by Felix Onuah and Joe Brock; Editing by Mark