Crisis Between Aliyu, Deputy Deepens, As Gov Hands Over To Speaker
THE frosty relationship between Niger State Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and his Deputy, Ahmed Musa Ibeto, deepened yesterday with the latter debunking claims by the former that he handed over the affairs of the state to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, because his deputy was out of the country.
Aliyu had on Wednesday directed the Speaker, Adamu Usman, to oversee his schedules as the Acting Governor, as he proceeded to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.
In a letter to that effect to the Speaker, with reference No. GHNS/13/72, dated February 18 and signed by the governor himself, Aliyu said: “I wish to inform Mr. Speaker that I intend to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser Hajj between 19th and 26th February, 2015.”
“In my absence, the honourable Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Adamu Usman, will oversee my schedules as the Acting Governor.”
But addressing journalists in Minna yesterday, Ibeto said contrary to the report credited to his boss, he was in the country and in Minna on the day his boss travelled out of the country.
There have been claims and denials over the relationship between the duo ever since Ibeto dumped the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the All Progressives Congress (APC), following the PDP primary.
Only last week, the deputy governor alleged that the governor ordered him out of the State Executive Council meeting, but in a quick reaction, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Israel Ebije, in a statement debunked the claim, insisting that it was Ibeto that requested to be excused from council meetings henceforth on moral grounds, since he has decamped to the APC.
Ibeto said, to put the record straight, he was not only in the country, but also in Minna and at home at the time the governor directed that the Speaker should oversee the affairs of the state as he travelled to Saudi Arabia.
According Ibeto: “Yesterday, I read a press release that the reason why my principal handed over to the Speaker was as a result of my absence, that I was away from the country.”
“I want to say with all emphasis that I have never travelled out of the country without his permission and as at the time he was leaving the country, I was not only Nigeria, I was in Minna.”
“The only day that I was not in Minna was on Monday when I went to Abuja to attend a meeting of the leaders of our party, APC, and immediately after the meeting I returned to Minna.”
“I don’t know from where the story of my leaving the country came from. It is very amazing that such information could be given,” he stated.