June 17, 2009

Gov Aliyu not under threat— Kuta

By Inalegwu Shaibu

ABUJA — Senator Awisu Kuta (PDP) Niger yesterday dismissed claims that the state governor, Dr. Banbangida Aliyu, may be swept away by the recent political crisis in the state which has resulted in the emergence of two Speakers for House of Assembly within one week.

Senator Kuta while responding to journalists in Abuja on the quick change of the leadership of the state House of Assembly absolved the governor of orchestrating the removal of Idris Saidu as Speaker of the state House of Assembly and the subsequent election of Umar Musa Mai’Ali as the new Speaker.

He said the removal of Saidu was carried out by the House following his indictment by a government white paper.

He said: “What I know is that the governor has tried as much as possible to remain with the people and at the same time doing everything possible not to interfere so much with the happenings in the House. He has done everything possible to ensure that the House was carried along and given its due respect.

So, I cannot say exactly whether there was any move to target the governor for removal and I think from what the governor is doing so far in Niger State, if there is any move at all like that it is going to be a very unpopular move by the House in that respect.

“Unfortunately for them, the person they had just elected had a problem arising from the outcome of the investigation of the Maiyaki panel in Niger State and the white paper came out almost at the same time and there is every indication that the white paper has indicted that particular speaker.

“I think in order to turn a new leaf, it became necessary for the House to ensure that they did not gamble with the leadership. And that is why as much as possible, they advised the new speaker to step down to give way for another person to come in and that is why we have the new person that was sworn in just yesterday (Monday),” he said.