ByÂ Daniel Idonor
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, said members of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, were more concerned than many Nigerians, over theÂ prolonged absence of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua, on health grounds.
He described the emerging crises in the cabinet as unnecessary.
Maduekwe, who returned to Abuja from the African Union, AU, Summit, said council members were disturbed and concerned about the current difficulties the country was going through, but dismissed report of the emerging conflict.
According to him: â€œthe cabinet remained united.
â€œIt is natural you hear different opinions and, at the end of it, come to some kind of consensus. I have no worry about my colleagues that they will be divided, not this cabinet. It is a great cabinet and there is a great fellowship among us,â€
On whether he is not worried that the matter has been allowed to drag for too long, Ojo said everyone was concerned about the situation, but advised that it should be handled with â€œa great sense of patriotism,â€ describing it as complex.
â€œI think that what we all continue to do is to handle this with a great sense of patriotism and I believe that patriotism to the nation is not in conflict with loyalty. Loyalty to oneâ€™s country and loyalty to the president, the two are not in conflict.
â€œThe President Yarâ€™Adua I know cares a lot for this country. He is strong and his sense of what Nigeria can achieve is not in doubt. I have no difficulty reconciling my loyalty to him with my patriotism for the nation. We should be gentle with each other, all of us who are involved in this to know that this is a new experience for this country and what is required is honesty.”
â€œA lot of people have spoken about the need to address Section 145 of the Constitution, but that section does not seem to anticipate adequately enough the kind of situation we are in. But until it is amended, it remains the constitution. What Iâ€™m saying is that in interpreting the constitution, we should do it in a liberal manner and a way it will bring national unity and national cohesionâ€, he further pointed out.