â€¦as Reps debunk coup story linked to Bankole
By Luka Binniyat
Rising from a meeting Wednesday, the northern caucus of the House of Representatives lambasted the Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili, over her recent utterances on President Umaru Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s health, and called for her resignation.
Also, the House of Representatives Wednesday refuted a story carried on a national newspaper (not Vanguard) linking the Speaker of the House of Representatives to aÂ coup plot by the military as a result of the seeming constitutional crisis created by the long absence of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua from office.
Addressing House of Reps Press Corps, the Chairman, Northern Caucus of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ternga Tsegba (PDP/Benue) said the caucus is deeply concerned with the recent statements attributed by the Minister. He said that her utterances are capable of undermining the functions of the Acting President, and that her statements also have grave security implication.
â€œUnder the doctrine of collective responsibilityâ€, said tsegba, â€œshe as a cabinet member is incompetent to make public statement in contradiction of the collective decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) irrespective of her personal opinionâ€, said the caucus spokesman.
â€œOur advise to her in this circumstances of her total objection to the decision of FEC, is to resignâ€, he said.
â€œThe caucus itself urges all public officers particularly members of FEC to refrain forthwith from making further inflammatory statements capable of undermining peace, stability and unity of Nigeria but focus on how to effectively implement the budgetâ€, he said.
On the alleged coup story, the Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, said that the story credited to Bankole as saying that the military has perfected a plot to overthrow the present government, was purported to have originated from last Tuesdayâ€™s executive session of the Reps.
â€œThe Speaker of the House of Reps never said anything about a coup plotâ€, he said.
â€œThe House merely discussed on the need for all Nigerians to put national interest first above all thingsâ€, he said.
â€œThe Speaker acknowledges the professionalism of the Nigerian Armed Forces and is full of praise for them, for the wonderful role they have played since the recent problems startedâ€, he said.
â€œWe want to thereforeÂ to debunk that storyâ€, he said, â€œIt is totally false andÂ cannot be collaboratedâ€, he said.