Governor of Niger State and Chairman, Northern States Governors Forum, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, yesterday, denied the rumor that he drafted the former deputy governor of the state, Dr. Shem Nuhu Zagbayi, into the Niger- East senatorial district race on his behalf.
The governor spoke in Minna, the state capital, against the general belief that Dr. Zagbayi was drafted into the race for the Niger-East senatorial seat to serve as a stopgap measure for him to contest the seat in 2015.
The seat became vacant following the death of Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta.
But Aliyu said the emergence of Zagbayi as a consensus candidate was not his doing but the unanimous decision of PDP stakeholders in the state.
“Before Dr. Shem was picked as a consensus candidate several others were also weighed and analysed. We are not against the emergence of aspirants, it is even creating sources for generating more revenue for the party”, the governor said.
He added that one of the outcome of such consultations apart from arriving at the decision of a consensus candidate, was the agreement to take the slot to either Suleja or Kagara emirates, since Minna emirate has produced senators representing the zone since 1999, saying eventually, the arrangement favoured Suleja emirate, hence the emergence of Dr. Zagbayi.
The governor stressed that he has no such plan for 2015 as he is not even sure of reaching the date of the by-election alive let alone planning for 2015.
Governor Aliyu, who boasted that he has the credentials it takes to contest for any public office, said it therefore, made no sense that before he could contest and win an election, it has to be through a stopgap candidate adding that if he is nursing any ambition for the seat, he would rather go through primary election than through a stopgap arrangement.