By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, has alleged clandestine plans by people close to the Presidency to enroll him into an imaginary conspiracy.
Governor Aliyu made the disclosure, yesterday, a day after he was suddenly summoned to the presidential villa in Abuja, allegedly on issues bothering on his recent assertions.
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Danladi Ndayebo, alleged that “hawks” in Abuja have concluded plans to print posters and portraits of him with the message 2015: Vote Babangida Aliyu for President with the import of arousing the anger of the party against him.
The portraits are to be followed with what he alleged as a media campaign directed at impugning his integrity and loyalty to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The allegations followed the standoff between Governor Aliyu and partisans of the president, which was upon the governor’s declaration that President Jonathan signed a one-term agreement with northern governors. That agreement had not been produced.
Governor Aliyu was also reported to have stoutly stood in defence of Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, during the recent crisis that shadowed the aborted election of a new chairman of the governors’ body.
Governor Aliyu, however, pledged yesterday to be a law-abiding member of the party, saying that he was conscious of the party’s directive against the commencement of presidential election campaigns.
He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Aliyu has not declared for the presidency.
“If anything, he is at the moment focused on delivering on the mandate given to him by the people of Niger State and would not be distracted.”
Aliyu said God is the ultimate decider of who becomes what, just as he cautioned Nigerians to be wary of persons who may want to discredit others for selfish gains.
Aliyu said he remains committed to his present assignment and would not be distracted by any devious plot by mischief-makers.
He reiterated his commitment to the ongoing efforts at re-engineering the state to achieve its vision of becoming one of the top three most developed state economies by the year 2020.