Niger State deputy governor, Hon Musa Ibeto, has narrated how the governor of Niger State, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu barred him from the state executive council on Wednesday saying that the governor was ready to forcefully remove him from the council chamber.
Ibeto had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) last month and was set to attend the state executive council meeting when the drama ensued.
LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that at the commencement of the council meeting, the governor had said that he would not preside over a council meeting having his deputy governor in attendance because he has followed APC governorship candidate to campaign tour where he was allegedly maligned.
The deputy governor in an interview confirmed the incident, saying that the development was undemocratic and that he left, to avoid unpleasant situation.
But Governor Aliyu in his reaction contained in a statement by the chief press secretary Israel Ebije stated that the deputy governor excused himself from the meeting on moral ground insisting that he was not barred from the meeting.
The deputy governor in an interview with journalists, declared that it was not true that he excused himself from the meeting, saying that “It is not true that I excused myself from the meeting. When I received notification for the council meeting, I went as usual but when the council started in his (Governor Aliyu’s) opening remarks, he said that the members of exco are aware that I have defected from PDP to APC and could not preside in a council that I was sitting”.
He stated that the governor said that he will not preside over the meeting so that he will not use the information at the council to campaign against him because he was informed that the APC campaign led by the deputy governor allegedly called him derogatory name.
Ibeto said that he immediately objected to the allegation maligning the governor but told the council that he left PDP because of the injustice within the party and the flaws that characterised the last primaries of the party in the state.
Saying that he left before force was used, he stated that, “ I learnt that when I left they deliberated over the issue. I heard that he was not going to allow me to attend and that he was going to remove me forcefully if I insist to attend.”
The deputy governor said with the latest development, he and his party APC were considering legal action because the governor had denied him his constitutional position as he remained a council member and court could invalidate any decision taken while he was not in attendance.
But the state government has debunked Ibeto’s claim, saying that Ibeto had requested for the permission of council to stay away from meetings on moral grounds.
The state government added that Ibeto has requested that unless on very sensitive state matters, he has nothing to offer the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led government of the state when discussions are hinged on political matters of the party.
According to the statement by Israel Ebije, the deputy governor who has defected to the APC cited moral reasons when he asked members of council to excuse him from Wednesday council meeting.
The statement reads in part, “The deputy governor, Ahmed Musa Ibeto asked council to excuse him from Wednesday’s meeting when issues concerning the general election were presented. He is now in the opposition and the right thing to do based on moral grounds was to leave the meeting.”[Leadership]