*I’m on annual leave, he says
By Peter Duru
MAKURDI â€” Against the backdrop of recent newspaper reports that former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Mike Aondoakaa (SAN) had fled the country, Minister for Special Duties has declared that he did not runÂ from the country as being insinuated in some quarters.
He maintained that those spreading the false story were ill informed and were doing so for their personal reasons.
He stressed that he is only enjoying a 30-day leave, but would return to his new duty post upon completion of his holiday which would also afford him the opportunity to attend to pressing personal issues.
Addressing newsmen in Makurdi, Chief Aondoakaa flaunted a lettered referenced HAGF/SH/2010/Vol.1/1, dated February 2010 which he addressed to the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, requesting to proceed on a 30-day leave.
The leave was also spontaneously approved by the Presidency and signed by the Secretary to the Government of theÂ Federation which granted him permission to proceed on leave.
Represented by his Special Assistant, Mr Terna Yaji, the Special Duties Minister maintained that he has no reasons whatsoever to abscond from his country.
Part of the letter to the Acting President read: â€œI humbly apply for your kind approval to proceed on a 30-day annual leave with effect from 11 February 2010â€¦ to enable me attend to some urgent personal matters.â€
According to Aondoakaa, he maintains a good working relationship with the Acting President, insisting that his absence from public glare was due to his 30 days off duty occasioned by his annual leave.
The former AGF restated his firm belief in the principles of rule of law and good governance in all its ramifications, advising that Nigerians lend their support to the Acting President to enable him successfully steer the affairs of the country.
He also called for sustained prayers for ailing President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua to aid his quick recovery.