In the wake of newspaper headlines that he endorsed Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido to run for president next year, Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum and self-styled Chief Servant of Niger State, Dr. Babanida Aliyu, has said he was quoted out of context.
Aliyu had while speaking during the 2014 Hajj operation at the new Dutse International Airport in Jigawa, weekend, told Lamido to be prepared for higher service following what he described as his remarkable achievement in the state.
“I’ve heard about what you have been doing and I have come to see it for myself. All I can say is that you should be prepared for higher office”, the Niger governor was quoted as saying.
However, Aliyu, in a statement by his spokesman Israel Ebije, said it is not part of his constitutional duties to anoint anybody as presidential candidate.
The governor said he only wished his Jigawa counterpart well in whatever endeavour he decides after the completion of his tenure as governor.
“What I told him was to prepare for greater responsibilities. We have a party with a structure and process in place for anybody who wants to go for any position. I respect the wishes and opinions of the governor on whatever he decides to do, but am not asking him to run for president. I did not say what some papers published. After all, we have a president”, he said.
Aliyu continued: “Since we refused to leave PDP, people have been working hard to push us out of the party through unfounded insinuations. But we have resolved to remain in the PDP and that is regardless of our position on some issues which we have resolved already. I am, therefore, strongly of the opinion that the party is stabilizing and in need of good hands. I have pledged to ensure that the PDP is strong and ready with the necessary political goodwill to win elections in 2015”.