by Ranti Joseph
Niger state governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, on Wednesday, March 4, explained that the appointment of the Speaker of the House of Assembly as the acting Governor when he travelled for the lesser Hajj was not to spite the Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ibeto or his office, but because he had received a letter intimating him that his deputy was also going for the lesser hajj.
He said he assumed the deputy governor also travelled out of the country as there was a notification letter to that effect.
Aliyu, who stated this when he signed the 2015 appropriations bill into law, said the notification letter was the reason he asked the Speaker to serve as the acting Governor.
He said that since Ibeto told him he was traveling out of the country at the same time he was also traveling, it was constitutionally right to hand over the affairs of the state to the Speaker of the House of Assembly.
“The Speaker had to be the acting governor because my deputy governor was not in town for me to verify if he was traveling out of the country or not.”
“Without any discussion, I saw a letter that he wants to travel for lesser Hajj, I saw the deputy governor on the television attending a meeting of the APC where he had defected and I assumed that he would leave for the lesser hajj from Abuja and since I could not get him, the constitutional thing was to appoint the Speaker as the acting governor.”
“The appointment of the acting governor was no spite on anyone. The deputy governor is still the deputy governor of the state until the end of our mandate,” Aliyu explained.
Aliyu further explained that the reason he ejected Ibeto from the government house was because that right from the onset, the deputy governor’s office had not been in the government house.
“Many of you are aware that before I came as governor, the office of the deputy governor was not in government house. I was the one who felt that he needed to stay close to me, that we were one ticket, and if a ticket decides to cut into two and there is a bigger size of the ticket, I think people just say and write what they want to write.”
“This is a straight-forward issue for me, constitutionally, he is still the deputy governor, he will function as the deputy governor and if he is available, why not, he will be given the acting governor,” he explained further.