Niger Governor Bars Deputy From Council Meeting

Despite repeated promises by Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State to accord his deputy, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), his rights and privileges, the governor on Wednesday barred Ibeto from attending the state executive council meeting.

The governor had in his opening remarks at the weekly council meeting at the Government House, Minna, said he will not preside over the meeting with his deputy on seat, accusing Ibeto of calling him a thief in one of the APC campaign rallies in the state.

But a statement issued on Thursday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Israel Ebije, said the deputy governor sought for permission to stay away from the meeting on moral ground.

Ebije said Ibeto told the council that unless on very sensitive state matters, it would not be morally right for him to be in council when political matters, especially ones that concerned the Peoples Democratic Party are being discussed.

Ibeto faulted the government statement, describing it as total falsehood which does not represent the true picture of what had transpired at the council.

The deputy governor said he got wind of the grand plan to send him out of the weekly state executive council meeting, adding that the governor has decided not to have anything to do with him at the council again.

Ibeto said, “It is not true that I excused myself. When I received notification for the council meeting on Wednesday I went as usual. But before the council started, the governor in his opening remarks said that people and members of the executive council were aware that I have decamped from the PDP to APC and that we had gone on campaign round the state.

“He (governor) said he has the information and clips that I called him a thief and that he will not preside over the council where I am sitting.

“I objected and explained that I have never called him a thief and that everywhere we went, people always wanted to know why I defected to APC and I have been telling them I left PDP because of the injustice in the party.”

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