Written by Lawal Sabo:
Twelve ministers reported to have written a memo to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan asking him not to change the cabinet and the service chiefs have denied the story, saying it was fabricated with the view of causing confusion and questioning their integrity.
They pledged an unalloyed loyalty to Jonathan.
The Guardian had on Saturday reported that the 12 ministers had written a memo to Jonathan asking him to maintain the status quo.
Coming ahead of today’s meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF), the 12 ministers challenged anyone with any evidence to that effect to make it public.
Indications are high that the EXCOF meeting may be special, especially after the removal of the National Security Adviser, General Abdullahi Sarki Mukhtar, on Monday.
The ministers, referred to as the “12 wise men” in the newspaper report, threw the challenge in a press release signed by the Minister of Interior Dr. Shettima Mustapha on behalf of others and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday.
According to them, the report was only intended to further heat up the polity, as it had already generated a series of unnecessary debates and comments on some television channels, “thereby casting aspersions on our persons and giving the erroneous impression that we are on a different mission from that which we were appointed to serve: the interest of Nigeria and its people.”
They also said: “As law-abiding and patriotic Nigerians who have been found worthy to serve Nigeria at this very critical point in our history, we are mindful of the potential confusion these barefaced lies are capable of generating, and the potential harm they could do to the polity.”
They assured that they did not write any letter or memo to the acting president not to tamper with the present arrangement.
“As ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we owe complete and unalloyed loyalty, respect and support to the acting president, in line with our oath of allegiance and oath of office,” they stated.
The ministers regretted that no effort was made by either the reporter or commentators on the issue to contact any of them with a view to authenticating the report, as it should be in a decent and ethical journalism. So, they demanded “nothing short of an unreserved public apology from The Guardian for this deliberate attempt to malign us.”
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