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Much ado about Aondoakaa’s removal

By By Uduma KALU
FROM the presidency has come a description of the mood that greeted Acting Goodluck Jonathan’s announcement of former Justice Minister, Chief Michael Andoakaa’s removal as Justice minister.

But Saturday Vanguard can authoritatively say that Aondoakaa was not removed because  of his inglorious role to stop Jonathan from becoming Acting President but that international pressure compelled Jonathan to remove him as both Nigerians and the international community related with him with a long pole.

It was also gathered that ailing President Umaru Yar Adua had also pencilled him for removal before he took ill

During a minor cabinet reshuffle last Wednesday, Andoakaa  was moved to the Special Duties office while then Labour minister, Kayode Adetokunbo (SAN)  replaced him as AGF,.

But in his reaction to his removal, Andoakaa, who was quiet all through last Wednesday’s cabinet meeting that endorsed the acting presidency , explained why he did most of what he did, and described his former office as a thankless job. He was not working for anybody to thank him, he told reporters

“There was a swap in the cabinet. I am now the minister of special duties while the Minister of Labour takes over from me as the attorney general and minister of justice,” Mr Aondoakaa told reporters after the cabinet meeting..

He confessed upon his removal that he told a lot of stories that there was no vacuum in governance, and that he had to defy all threats and insults against him simply because “no Attorney-General of the Federation worth his salt would go on the pages of newspapers to admit that there was a vacuum” even when it is evident.

However, impecable sources in the presidency told Saturday Vanguard that at last Wednesday, Federal Executive meeting, following the House of Assembly resolution to empower Jonathan as Acting President, everybody in the room was looking at Andoakaa.

They- Ministers and governors present indeed were thinking about what the Acting president had in mind for Andoakaa, as he  Aondoakaa had been seen as a key figure in preventing Jonathan from taking over as acting president.
The ex Justice minister had been at daggers drawn with those then angling that Jonathan be made acting president, including  Information Minister, Dora Akunyili who in her memo to the FEC last week asked that Jonathan be empowered to act as Ag president.
In his reaction, Andoakaa accused Dora  of “trying to make herself an angel and a cheap hero”. He said her  memo was prejudicial and subjudice because there was a case before the Court of Appeal on the issue. The Minister described Akunyili as a self-seeking office holder who wants to make herself a cheap hero.

President Umaru Yar’Adua has been in hospital abroad since November and was said to have wanted to remove him as the AGF before he fell ill and was flown abroad. His absence triggered a political crisis.

But Andoakaa had always replied his critics that he was not begging anybody to like him.
He said the criticism he was getting was the price of the office he held
He listed some of his predecessors in office and said that several negative things were said about them.
He said he would not allow such bickering to affect the performance of his duties.


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