Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has ordered his deputy, Ahmed Musa Ibeto, to stop attending the state executive council meetings over his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It would be recalled that Ibeto defected to APC last month claiming injustice and lack of fair-play in the PDP as his reasons for dumping the party but the state governor in a reaction said despite his deputy’s decision to defect, he (Ibeto) remains his deputy governor until May 29.
But on Wednesday, the relationship took a different dimension when Ibeto was asked during the council meeting to excuse them as matters concerning PDP and the forthcoming elections were to be discussed.
It was learnt that the Governor in his opening remarks before the commencement of the state executive council meeting protested that he would not chair a council where the deputy was seated. And that at this point, the deputy governor was excused out of the chambers and he headed straight to his office where he was said to have gone to park his valuable items out of the office.
In a press statement yesterday in Minna, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Israel Ebije, said that the deputy governor sought for permission and was granted the permission to stay away from state executive council meetings adding that he is still entitled to all the entitlements of the office.
But the deputy governor described the statement by the governor’s spokesman as a total falsehood and a complete misrepresentation of the true picture of what transpired at the council on Wednesday.
Ibeto said: “If this statement is coming from government, let me react. It is not true that I excused myself. When I received notification for the council meeting of yesterday, I went as usual. But before the council meeting 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 said that 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.”
The deputy governor said that the governor said he was no longer sure that he would not use council deliberations against the PDP government.
“I objected and explained that I have never called him a thief and that everywhere we go, 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”, he said.
Ibeto said that although he quietly left office as a law-abiding citizen after the governor had threatened to use the security men against him, he was studying the relevant provisions of the constitution, adding: “I will challenge the governor’s undemocratic action in court appropriately.
“If I am deprived of attending council meetings, whatever decisions taken at such meetings are null and void.”