The governor responds to rumours of his impending defection.
The governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, has stated that, contrary to rumours going round, he is not contemplating leaving the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The governor was speaking in response to rumours circulating on social media that he is leading a splinter group and ready to dump the PDP for another party following the controversy trailing last week’s Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, election.
A statement signed by Mr. Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, said such reports were being planted by those who are seeking to disintegrate the PDP. The statement described the insinuation as wishful thinking by the sponsors of the report.
“The story of the planned defection of Governor Aliyu is a figment of the imagination of persons who are either threatened by the successes the party has made in the last 14 years or are afraid of squaring up with the party in the 2015 general elections,” the statement said.
Mr. Aliyu, via the statement, said he is embarrassed by the orchestrated attempt to impugn on his hard earned integrity, emphasizing that he remains a committed democrat, principled politician and a loyal member of the PDP. He added that as the leader of the PDP in his state, he is one of the pillars of the party and would continue to work to make it stronger and united in the larger interest of the nation.
The statement urged the general public to disregard any report purporting to suggest that Mr. Aliyu is planning to leave the PDP.
Mr. Aliyu is one of the PDP governors believed to have voted against Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau in the NGF election. Mr. Jang, the candidate reportedly supported by the PDP and the presidency, lost the chairmanship election to Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers by 16 to 19 votes. He has, however, declared himself the winner of the election.
Mr. Aliyu is also one of the few governors who has stated his willingness to lead Nigeria and likely challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the party’s presidential ticket in 2015.