The governor said he has no personal problems with President Jonathan.
The Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, has declared that he will only quit the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, if he is expelled.
He also said his membership of the PDP was not an error as he had been led by God to join the party; saying though he prayed to be a Head of Service, he ended up becoming a governor.
While answering questions from journalists at the Presidential Villa after a closed door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, the governor said “I am not a quitter. God took me to PDP. My prayer was to be a head of service and God said I should be governor under PDP and I am not about quitting now unless I am dismissed. But I am not jumping from one party to another”.
Mr. Aliyu, who is one of five PDP governors who have been holding consultations perceived to be against the President’s interest, also declared that he had no personal problems with Mr. Jonathan.
“No” he answered when asked if he was against Mr. Jonathan’s interests; adding “Let’s get something very clear in politics. You may disagree with a particular policy, you may disagree with the process but you cannot be said to disagree with the president because you did not put him there. Nigerians put him there and God put him there. This is the mistake that people make. They want to put people against each other. Even in your house as a father sometimes your child may disagree with the way and manner to do certain things but that doesn’t mean he is not your son. I think that is the misnomer that many people have been giving out.
“We have many issues on ground and unless they are discussed, there is no way you can solve them. I don’t think it is against the president. Some issues came up and they have been discussed. You remember our problems in the governors forum we are discussing how to resolve them. We want to insulate clearly Mr. President out of it. Even the simple election that took place for the Youth Council in Niger many people wanted to bring politics into it. I have heard people saying it should not be held in Niger because the governor is against the president. I think that is a misnomer and I think a local approach to the matter”.
He also denied being involved or having knowledge of the formation of Voice of the People’s Party (VPP) for which he had been named amongst the governors involved.
Mr. Aliyu also spoke on the suspension of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers from the PDP, saying the party’s constitution was not being adhered to.
“If I understand our constitution right, it says you can be suspended for thirty days after which NEC will have to rectify it. Now thirty days have passed and the issue has not been brought to NEC. So on that part, that issue has lapsed.
“But another angle is being brought into it that the issue is in court. In order words our colleague has to withdraw the case from court or it takes the natural process. But then you see so many things happening in Rivers State. Suddenly we were reading about people being dismissed. I think some people are reading the constitution of the PDP upside down,” he said.
Mr. Aliyu also said among the reasons for his visit to Mr. Jonathan, were projects meant to be executed in Niger.
“The roads in Niger; my airport, which has been for sometimes dormant; and some issues are coming from the Ministry of Aviation and I know that he will help us,” he said.
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