Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dora Akunyili asks Yar'Adua to step down

There was confusion at the Federal Executive Meeting (FEC) yesterday, when the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, submitted a memo calling on the FEC to face up to the reality of President Umaru Yar'Adua's continued absence.

Akunyili in the 'step down memo' to the meeting urged her colleagues to advise the President to transmit a letter to the National Assembly to facilitate a smooth transition.

Daily Champion gathered that Akunyili in the memo which created a fiasco in the meeting had warned that FEC had taken Nigerians for granted for too long and should do the right thing by urging the President to step down. Predictably, the memo was shot down as it was not allowed to form part of the agenda.

A reliable source told Daily Champion that though most of his colleagues supported the memo, some powerful persons ensured that it was thrown into the dustbin. She was however congratulated by many of them for her courage and bravery in confronting the FEC.

Responding to inquiries from Daily Champion, Prof. Akunyili accepted writing the memo.

Meanwhile the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday foreclosed any handing over to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, when the party told him to wait for God's directives on the clamour for Acting President being canvassed by opposition parties and human rights groups.

The message was handed out to Jonathan when the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor visited him in the Presidential Villa on behalf of the party hierarchy.

Ogbulafor, while speaking to Jonathan quoted Psalm 62: 11 of the Holy Bible which says: "God has spoken once; twice I have heard this that power belongs to God."

The visit to the Vice-President was the first since the controversy to hand over power to Jonathan as Acting President started.

Arriving at the Villa on what was described as solidarity visit aimed at encouraging him on his resilience in discharging his duty in the absence of the President, Ogbulafor said: "Throughout this period, you have demonstrated patriotism and measure of loyalty and statesmanship. You have through exemplary selflessness held the government and the country together in spite of the mischief of a few.

"We are particularly delighted with the prompt manner you handled the crisis in Jos, Plateau State. We also wish to appreciate your prompt response on behalf of the government of Nigeria to the tragedy in Haiti.

"We wish to place on record our deepest satisfaction with the manner you have steadied the ship of state in the absence of his Excellency, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua.

"You have discharged your duties in the absence of Mr. President with distinction. We are proud that you have refused to be distracted by needless debates and controversies originating from some of our opponents.

"We maintain our earlier assertion that with you effectively on the saddle, there is no vacuum in the Presidency.

"Your Excellency, like all Nigerians from different spheres of life, we have been keenly following developments in the country since the departure of Mr. President for medical attention.

"We wish to once again commend you for doing everything possible to ensure the smooth functioning of the affairs of government.

"On behalf of the PDP, I pledge our unalloyed support to you as you continue to steer the ship of our nation. You can count on our support in this regard at all times. Furthermore, the word of the Holy Scripture in Psalm 62:11 is apt for this moment, that God has spoken once, twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God."

Daily Champion

Related stories: Dora Akunyili says Nigeria may cut ties with  U.S.

President Yar'adua hospitalized in Saudi Arabia

Video - CNN reports on Nigeria's missing president

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