As the Presidency on Wednesday doused tension over speculations that the newly appointed Minister of Defence, Gen. Aliyu Gusau had resigned from the position to which he was sworn in about a week ago, the man in the eye of the storm has also spoken out to dismiss the rumour as untrue.
The social media was awash with reports yesterday that the highly respected spy-chief had tendered his resignation letter following a purported rift between him and top brass of the Nigerian military.
The news was given further credence when Gusau was conspicuously absent at the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, his first, since his appointment on March 5.
But Mr Reuben Abati, the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, in pouring cold water over reports that Gusau had left office, said “It is not true that he has resigned”.
He explained that the minister came down with the “flu” and had the president’s permission to be absent at yesterday’s FEC meeting.
Similarly, in a statement issued on his behalf by Mr Shehu Maikai, Director Press in the Ministry of Defence, Gusau also denied the report that he had resigned.
“The attention of the ministry had been drawn to a media posting on the social network that the minister had resigned.
“I 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 Gusau remains the Minister of Defence”, the statement said.