ABUJA - The presidency yesterday described as absolute rubbish, the news flash alleged to have emanated from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua will resign after cabinet reshuffle on health grounds.
The one line news flash had stated thus: ‘’President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua may
resign after cabinet reshuffle, on health ground’’.
Special Adviser to the President on Communications, Olusegun Adeniyi who refuted the story as irresponsible noted that responding would be giving teeth to the rumour which is obviously mischievous and false.
“It is absolute rubbish. There is no such thing. The president has not resigned and there is nothing like that in the offing”, the presidential spokesman insisted.
The NAN had earlier denied being the source of the story which they had described as handiwork of mischief makers who wanted to spoil the good name of the government agency.
Despite the denial, panicky Nigerians who heard the news came in from far and wide either in person or through the telephone to enquire after the president.
This had in turn created a tensed situation at the Presidential Villa as workers turned their television to local channels like AIT, NTA and Channels Television.
To this end, the presidency was forced to issue a statement thus:
Following inquiries that came in the wake of a report purportedly issued by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) today
(yesterday) the Presidency wishes to affirm that there is no truth whatsoever to the suggestion that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is contemplating resignation from office.
Since NAN itself has categorically denied being the source of the report that the President may resign, it can only be assumed that the report is the handiwork of persons who do not wish the country well.
For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, President Yar’Adua has no intention of abandoning the mandate given to him to lead Nigeria further’along the path to restoration, growth and development.
He will therefore continue to discharge his responsibilities to the best of his abilities.
“I urge my colleagues in the media to be much more alert to the antics of persons and groups who have now made it their business to spread baseless rumours and untruths about the President in furtherance of their selfish schemes and ambitions.
“The doors of the administration remain open to the media at all times and practitioners are welcome to cross-check the veracity of any dubious report before publication” he said.
As at the time of this episode, President Yar’Adua who was billed to travel by weekend to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly was busy holding meetings with many visitors that had called at his office in the Aso Rock Villa.
Among yesterday’s callers were Chief Tony Anenih former Chairman Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, his Plateau state counterpart, Jonah Jang, , the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, and the Accountant General of the Federation, Mallam Ibrahim Dankwambo,
The President also held meetings with the Chief of Defence Staff and Security Chiefs.