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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Do not resign, governors tell Yar’Adua
L-R, Governors, Danjuma Koje of Gombe chatting with Ibrahim Idris of Kogi, Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa and Bukola Saraki of Kwara State. Photo: NAN.
By Elizabeth Archibong
March 3, 2010 03:30PM
The Governor’s Forum, in a meeting with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, said it does not want President Umaru Yar’Adua to resign.
The meeting, which held at the Aguda House, the residence of the Acting President, lasted for almost two hours, with all 36 state governors in attendance.
As they trooped into Mr Jonathan’s residence from the venue of an earlier meeting of the forum, their faces were bright and the banters were light, indicating that all was well. But when the governors left after their meeting with Mr Jonathan, they all looked grim, and a source close to one of the governors said the meeting had not been devoid of argument.
While briefing newsmen after the closed door meeting, the Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio, said the group did not discuss the hundred days of Mr Yar’adua’s absence and that the issue of his resignation was also not touched upon.
He said: “We did not discuss that. We noted that the president has returned to the country and we noted the need for him to recuperate and get better soon, before he can think of assuming duty. For us the issue of his resignation is not an option for now. For us what is important is for us to be compassionate, to be sympathetic and to realise that anybody, no matter highly placed, even if you are a Christian and you are a Pope can get ill. Thank God he is back now and he is recuperating and we are satisfied that recovery is on the way. We are praying for him.”
Governor of Kwara State and head of the Forum, Bukola Saraki also said “We congratulated the Acting President towards stabilizing the polity of the country at the moment and we also in return pledged our support to the Acting President during this trying time. We encouraged him and said he is doing a good job and he has the full support of the governor’s forum in this exercise.”
Akunyili went overboard
Mr Saraki said Mr Jonathan gave reasons why he set up the presidential advisory council. He, “educated us on a number of issues, for example the advisory council that was set up and the reason behind it and other things,” Mr Saraki said. “By and large, we emphasized the need for the government to work very hard to ensure that we all play our role to provide leadership at this crucial time and to talk to members of government to ensure that the comments made are well guided. At the end of the day we acknowledged what he is doing and we appreciated it and the 36 governors will continue to support the Acting President for this country to move forward.
“We have expressed that we are happy to see that the president is back in the country, we have also said that we should separate the two issues. The return of the president to the country is an indication that there is progress in his recovery process and that does not deviate at all from any decision we took as a forum, where we all decided that a political solution to provide a resolution for Mr. Vice President to act as the Acting president and that is still the position.
Mr. Vice President acting as the president is still running this country and we are wishing the president speedy recovery. Our resolution was taken not because Mr. President was out of the country, but because he was ill and that has not changed.”
Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva however condemned the public statements making the rounds by public office holders. He picked issues with Information Minister, Dora Akunyili’s whom he said “went overboard” with her statements.