I did not spite my deputy, says Aliyu
NIGER State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has explained his decision to hand over power to the speaker of the state House of Assembly when he traveled to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, saying that he never spited his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Musa Ibeto.
Aliyu made the clarification in Minna on Wednesday when he swore in three commissioners reappointed into the state executive council after they failed to win the party primary to contest the forthcoming election.
Those sworn in are Alhaji Yussuf Tagwai, Hajia Hassana Adamu and Barrister Abbas Bello who all resigned their positions to contest the primary elections of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in their constituencies in 2014.
Reacting to the issue for the first time, Governor Aliyu declared that he has had a good working and personal relationships with Ibeto since 2007 and that there has never been any disagreement between them.
“In fact I did not spite the deputy governor, as far as I am concerned he is still the deputy governor,” explaining that he had to hand over to the speaker of the House of Assembly because the deputy governor wrote to him that he was traveling for the lesser hajj on the 19th of last month the same day he was to travel.
According to Aliyu, he saw the deputy governor on the television attending a meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja where he had defected and concluded that he would leave for the lesser hajj from Abuja.
As a result of this, Aliyu said that he had no option therefore than to hand over to the Speaker of the assembly as provided for by the 1999 constitution as amended, saying that if the Speaker had been unavailable he would have handed over to the Chief Judge of the state.
He maintained that his relationship with Ahmed Ibeto has been very cordial to the extent that it became a point of reference in political circles across the country.
Aliyu also said that for closeness he had to bring the office of the deputy governor to the government house premises from the commissioners’ quarters where it was located.
The governor declared that, “constitutionally he (Ibeto) is still the deputy governor, he will function as the deputy governor till the end of our mandate.”
He challenged politicians, especially political office holders in the state to help douse the political tension that has built up over the months as a result of the run up to the general elections, adding that campaigns should be devoid of foul and provocative language.
“The election is not a do or die affair, we should use the right language, we should not allow children to be involved in our campaigns,” he stated.
He later announced the posting of Alhaji Yussuf Tagwai to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, while Barrister Abbas Bello will be in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Hajia Hassana Adamu will take charge of the Ministry of Women Affairs.
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