By Salisu Ibrahim & Mohammed Isa:

* As Northern Reps demand minister’s resignation…

The Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, yes-terday lashed out at the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, and called on her to desist from making inflammatory comments that could inflame tempers.

At the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) held yesterday, Jonathan re-echoed the position of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum which called on the acting president to call Akunyili to order.

The tongue-lashing of Akunyili is coming on the heels of a demand by the Northern Caucus of the House of Representatives on Akunyili to resign her position over comments on the state of the nation.

Peoples Daily reliably gathered that Jonathan was unhappy with the minister over her recent comments in the media and charged her to halt further unguarded comments that may exacerbate the current political impasse.

The Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

Our correspondent gathered that the acting president, who was visibly angry with recent comments by the information minister, said the Nigerian public may get the impression that the views of the minister were position of the government.

Jonathan was said to have told a humbled Akunyili that, “your remarks may be considered as the official position of this government, hence the need to caution you from making further comments capable of creating increased tension.

“The position you maintain in the government is very sensitive; whatever you say people will construe it to mean the position of the government,” sources said the acting president told Akunyili.

An angry Akunyili who later addressed State House correspondents after the FEC meeting refused to answer questions from newsmen.

“She looked very angry and unfriendly. She also refused to answer questions on what happened in Council. She looked subdued,” our State House reporter said.

Professor Akunyili, it would be recalled, had been at the forefront of the media campaign to let Nigerians know the true state of health of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, accusing her colleagues of insincerity and cover up in the way they had handled the matter so far.

Meanwhile, the Council yesterday adopted the report of the six-man delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sent to visit ailing President Yar’adua while in Jeddah.

The delegation reported to the Council that they were unable to see the president, as the President had left Saudi Arabia for Nigeria.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, who led the delegation, made the presentation to the Council.

Akunyili, while briefing journalists, said Council was informed that the delegation delivered the acting president’s letter to Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Saud Al-Faisal,   for onward transmission to His Royal Majesty, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz  Al Saud.

The minister, who parried all questions asked her on the issue, said that while in Saudi Arabia, the Nigerian Ambassador, Alhaji Abdullahi Aminci, informed the ministerial delegation that he had received information that President Yar’adua had been discharged and was on his way back to Abuja.

The report said, “From all indications, the President must have departed Jeddah Airport at about 10 pm, Saudi time on Tuesday 23rd February 2010. With news that the President had left Saudi Arabia for Nigeria, the delegation did not consider it necessary to proceed to Jeddah, where the President was hospitalised. Accordingly, they decided to return to Nigeria,” she added.

She said that before their departure to the Kingdom for the visit, the acting president had addressed a letter to King Abdullah, introducing the delegation as a special envoy from the Presidency.

“In the letter, the acting president conveyed the profound appreciation and deep gratitude of the government and the entire people of Nigeria to the King, for the kindness, hospitality, fraternal care and excellent facilities extended to President Umaru Musa Yar’adua”, she added.

The delegation comprise of the SGF as leader, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, and Dr. Abba Sayyadi Ruma as members.

Meanwhile, the Council has approved the sum of N21.48 billion for the reconstruction of Owerri-Elele road linking Imo and Rivers state as part of the post-amnesty programme aimed at enhancing accessibility and creating employment opportunities as well as additional consultancy services for the project valued at N469.73 million.

Also approved is the N1.45 billion contract for the rehabilitation of Dengi-Jarmai road in Plateau state. It is to be funded by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency and the Ecological Fund.

A consultancy services contract for the Obiakpo-Obeng gas pipeline was approved in the sum of N236.8 million; it involves project studies and technical surveys, among other technical supervision duties for the project.

Meanwhile, members of the Northern Caucus of the House yesterday demanded the resignation of Akunyili over her recent statements on the state of the nation.The demand was one of the resolutions reached by the caucus at its meeting last Tuesday in Abuja.

Briefing newsmen on the resolution, the chairman of the caucus, Rep Terngu Tsebga (PDP-Benue) said Akunyili’s statement suggesting systematic undermining of the functioning of the acting president, was full of security implications.

“Under the doctrine of collective responsibility, she, as a cabinet minister, is incompetent to make public statements in contradiction to the collective decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) irrespective of her personal opinion.”

The correct option in the circumstances of her total objection to the decision of FEC is to resign, said Terngu, who read the resolutions in company of many of his colleagues.

The caucus, according to him, urged public officers, particularly ministers to refrain from making further inflamma-tory statements capable of undermining the peace, stability and unity of Nigeria. It advised them to instead, “concentrate on their constitutional role of service delivery to the nation through diligent budget implementation.”

He assured of the caucus’ continuous support for Jonathan in the exercise of all the powers of the office of the President in line with the resolution of the House.

The caucus, he said was willing to remove any impediment for Jonathan to discharge his duties efficiently and effectively.

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13 Thoughts on “Jonathan reprimands Akunyili

  1. Franky on March 7, 2010 at 12:32 am said:

    If this story is true, I weep for Nigeria. How can a nation that will not embrace the truth stand. The likes of Dora are very few in government of Nigeria that explain why the nation is not progressing. Jonathan should tow the path of honor and apologize openly to this upright woman.

    I hate to say this but the truth needs to be said. Nigeria can not sustain federalism it is a painful truth. At 50 the nation lacks direction due to bad leadership. Nigerian politicians, time is running out for you shall all face the wrath of God. You plunge the nation into darkness due to inordinate self motives. It was recorded that Nigerian politicians are the most paid in the world yet nothing to show for it.

  2. Prof. Mrs Dora,
    The God/Allah whom Nigerian nation serve in hypocitical way will continue to bless and reward you,the only Ngerian cabinet the love her country, Nigerians be you who should not be on Prof. Dora’s way or the person will face God’s or Allah’s wrath, what she said has not done anything wrong to the country rather we should be happy, for having sombody like her, mind God is on her side,Nigerians beware, of bribery,injustice,corruptions,insincerity, bloodshed,imbeslment,greediness,and all sorts of corruptions that made our country wothlessin the eyes of the world, lets call a spade a spade, honour should be giving to her so that others will learn. Hajia Joseph Italy

  3. tommy .s. lyoriobhe on March 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm said:

    Dora is the best nigeria has ever had.?if they want her out let her resign.

  4. Felix on March 5, 2010 at 6:00 am said:

    Its a shame to be a Nigerian. Look at what what is happening and we say we are practising DEMOCRACY. Shame unto all our politicians and those who feel that the country is their birth right.

  5. Aunty Dora!! We certainly got your back! We need people like her with steel in their nerves! Not spineless creatures like Jonathan…I wonder the author of the script they are all acting to.But one thing is certain, the script will end in TRAGEDY!!I feel so ashamed to be a Nigerian!

  6. Suleiman on March 4, 2010 at 6:05 pm said:

    New wine in old bottoms! Square pegs in round holes. If any one thinks Jonathan would do anything to change Nigeria, they must be kidding themselves. It is same old, same old. Jonathan has never contested an election. He is always riding on the misfortune of others, so what do you expect from him. To bite the fingers that feed him? He must pander to the northern oligarchy if he wants to last a day in the presidency. Expect nothing from this man. The the same old cargo!

  7. John Paul on March 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm said:

    Jonathan, you are a fool. Dora will not resign. The South will rise if Mr Jonathan tries anything funny with our beloved Dora.

  8. Trevor on March 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm said:

    Nigeria belongs to all of us. Akuyili MUST NOT resign. Those who have been covering the information about the state of health of Mr. President should resign, those who gave instructions for the deployment of soldiers in Abuja should resign, those who spent our money to Saudi Arabia and failed to give Nigerians their report on arrival should resign. All the members of the National Assembly caucus calling for Akuyili’s resignation should resign.

    Nigeria at this time needs people who will say the truth and not play politics with governance. There must be accountability and responsibility to the people.

  9. Kayyy, it is very unreasonable for u to write that Dora should resign. What is her offence if I may ask? that she spilt the beans and told people the truth behind the Yar adua saga. People like you are not what Nigeria needs. Who deployed the Army to guard the whole abuja on account of Yar adua’s return, who gave Yar adua’s wife the right to deploy two soilders to guard the President’s seat and prevent Jonathan from sitting on it the day they arrived Aso rock villa. pls stop chasing shadows like our stupid, foolish and greedy politicians. we Nigerians deserve to know the truth.

  10. Anyi- DK on March 4, 2010 at 10:11 am said:

    Some called on Jonathan to sack the criminal FEC, but they forget that Jonathan himself is in fact a member of that cabal.. You cannot expect him to give what he has not got..

  11. Anyi- DK on March 4, 2010 at 10:09 am said:

    The dumb ass called Jonathan is not even fit to be a town crier in a serious society! How could a man like that be playing so hypocrisy that even governor, wife of a dead man, even people without any mandate will tell him what to do and he sheepishly do as they say???
    I will never be surprise of any madness coming out of that British failed Project call Nigeria… A No Man’s Land o the highest order
    There no shame because there is no integrity or decency! Otherwise you will be hearing about resignations, but have you ever heard of such in Nigerian history…? NO because anyone that find his/herself in their is in to grab not because they believe in the failed project. It is about time the poor people of the so called Nigeria should wake up and take their lives and the future of their children in their hands, otherwise they will continue to live and die like flies, with no one taking notice. Is it not better to die with freedom even poor, than to die both as slave and poor??

  12. The chief of Army staff and Brigade commander are the right people to be terminated out of service because the security of Nigerian are shaddy under these so call northern men in strategic position , who will also take instruction from turia or obey the command of any northen’s without taking into consideration the constitutional authority of Nigeria. This act was done to belittle the Acting President GoodLuck Jonnathan just because he is not from the north.

  13. Kayyy on March 4, 2010 at 7:19 am said:

    Dora should honorably resign now.

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