THE Presidency and Ministry of Defence Wednesday denied online media reports that the Defence Minister, Gen. Mohammed Aliyu Gusau, had resigned from President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet. It described the report as false. Gusau, who was sworn in as minister a week ago, resumed at the Ship House headquarters of the Ministry of Defence in a ceremony that included inspection of Guard of Honour by troops of the Nigerian Army. Similarly, the Presidency refuted claims by the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, that he was suspended because of his alleged plans to expose corrupt government officials as not only untrue but a calculated attempt to divert the attention of the public from the weighty allegation of his mismanagement of the apex bank.
Addressing State House correspondents, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, insisted that Gen. Gusau remains in office as Defence Minister. He noted that the clarification became necessary in order to disabuse the minds of Nigerians from the false story. According to him: “This is to let Nigerians know that that story is untrue. Gen. Gusau remains in office as Minister of Defence; he was absent from today’s meeting of the FEC and this particular online medium cited that in support of its allegation that he had resigned. “Well, he was absent from the meeting with the permission of President Jonathan. So, the story is not true, he is still in office and he himself has already dismissed the story as untrue, and this further clarification is necessary before we are confronted with a situation whereby all kinds of wild speculations begin to come up and the story begins to develop undesirable branches.” Director of Press in the Defence Ministry, Mr. Shehu Maikai, said in a statement that “our attention has been drawn to a media posting on the social network to the effect that the Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen. Aliyu Gusau, has resigned; and wish to state, categorically, that the minister has not resigned his appointment. We thank all those that have called to verify the rumour and reassure you all that Lt.-Gen. Aliyu Gusau remains the Minister of Defence.”