Contrary to reports, the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, wrote to the House of Assembly notifying members of his intention to proceed on vacation overseas, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
In an October 25 letter, exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr. Bello said he will be gone for 14 days effective October 26.
“While abroad, all state matters should be forwarded to my deputy, Rt. Hon. Simon Achuba,” the governor said.
The letter clarifies reports on social and traditional media claiming that Mr. Bello had gone abroad without notifying the House — thereby contravening the state’s laws.
It, however, fell short at stating where the governor intended to spend his holiday and why, fuelling speculations that he might have travelled on medical grounds.
But the Speaker of the House, Umar Imam, said Mr. Bello did no wrong since it was a private visit.
“The governor went on a private leave for two weeks out of the six weeks he’s entitled to in a year,” the speaker’s spokesman, Umar Ali, told PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday. “The House does not have any issues with it because he satisfied the requirements of the law.”
Petra Onyegbule, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, told PREMIUM TIMES her principal deserved the rest and is due back home this weekend.
“Don’t forget that since last year before the election and after he was sworn in, he’s been busy,” Ms. Onyegbule said. “But he will be back to the state no later than this weekend.”
Ms. Onyegbule also slapped down reports that the governor was gravely ill with eye complications.
Mr. Bello was sworn in on January 27 at age 40, becoming the youngest politician to be elected governor in Nigeria.