UPDATED: Executive Council of The Federation Stall Vote On Yar'Adua, Sending Team To Jeddah

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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Abuja Feb 17, (THEWILL) – The intrigues associated with presidential politics continued in Abuja at the meeting of the executive council of the federation on Wednesday when the council stalled a motion moved by Foreign Affairs Minister Ojo Maduekwe to vote on President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua's ability to continue in office as President.

As earlier reported by THEWILL, the council was set to vote on the issue after a very stormy session. A source at the deliberations said they were seriously divided on taking an immediate vote that would have triggered the implementation of Section 144 of the 1999 Constitution.

After another heated session, it agreed to send a team of six members to Jeddah to ascertain the true state of the ailing president and also deliver a letter of appreciation to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and also request that he gives the necessary clearance so that the team could meet face to face with Yar'Adua before it could determine whether to take a vote on his capability to discharge the function of his office.

The team is made up of Secretary to the Government of the Federation Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Minister of Health Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, Foreign Affairs Minister Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Minister of Petroleum Dr. Rilwan Lukman, Attorney General and Minister of Justice Adekotunbo Kayode (SAN) and Agriculture Minister Dr. Abba Ruma.

Ministers scrambled to their various offices after the meeting and rebuffed questions from the media. However, Information minister, Professor Dora Akunyili flanked by Minister of State for Interior, Demola Seriki and Transport Minister Ibrahim Bio in a media briefing after the session said: "Council constituted a six-man team to go to Saudi Arabia to visit Mr. President and his family. The team will also convey a formal appreciation of the country to the King of Saudi Arabia." They refused to take questions from the media after the briefing.

As the information Minister made her way out of the venue she told journalists that the team would leave as soon as visas were secured and in response to a question on how the resolution was reached, she said it unanimously adopted.

Last week, a team from the House of Representatives and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, left Jeddah without seeing the President face to face.

Umaru Yar'Adua left Nigeria since November 23, 2009 and has not been seen in public since that time.

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