Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, has denied media reports alleging that he side-tracked his deputy, Ahmed Ibeto and made the Speaker of the State House of Assembly acting governor instead.
Governor Aliyu explained that his decision was based on the deputy governor’s absence from the state.
He made the clarification in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel Ebije.
According to the statement, Mr. Ibeto had travelled for lesser Hajj since Monday.
Mr. Ebije said the deputy governor, who travelled before his letter of intention to leave Nigeria reached Mr. Aliyu, left the governor no choice but to handover to the Speaker, Adamu Usman.
“The deputy Governor was not in any way snubbed by the governor on the decision to make the Speaker acting governor. Ibeto left the state for Umra without exhausting the necessary procedure of approval from the Governor before travelling.
“The deputy Governor is aware his boss was also preparing to embark on a journey too but left. It is therefore instructive to intimate that his hasty decision to leave left the Niger State Governor no choice but to make the speaker the acting governor”, Mr. Ebije said.
The statement noted that based on the established peaceful working relationship between the governor and his deputy before the latter decamped to the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Ibeto was expected to have sought proper permission before traveling out of the state and Mr. Aliyu was not to blame for his deputy’s actions.
Mr. Ebije said Governor Aliyu would not deny his deputy his rights, adding that Mr. Ibeto would still perform all his ceremonial duties and the status quo would remain until May 29 when they would hand over to a new government.