Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, chairman Northern States Governors’ Forum and governor of Niger State has debunked a newspaper report that he had pulled out of the G7 and the new PDP, saying, “I remain the leader of G7”
A visibly angry Aliyu said “I woke up this morning with a rude shock that a newspaper that can call me at anytime to confirm a report would file such a report because I was not in a meeting.
“The paper went to town saying I have pulled out of G7. The truth of the matter is that Babangida Aliyu is still a member and infact, I am the leader of G7”, he said.
Aliyu insisted “I regard that write-up as an enemy action. It was planted by people who are interested in breaking our ranks and who try to input motives where there are none. I see the hands of some people I can identify to have sponsored this article. I urge people not to make policies relating to all they read in the papers as some of these articles are sponsored.”
He denied the story while playing host to the national president and other leaders of the Nigeria Civil Service Union in Minna. Governor Aliyu described the report as an enemy action designed to break the ranks of the G7 governors.He vowed that he is a key member of G-7 and it was uniimaginable for him to pull out.
The governor explained that his absence from the meeting was not intentional adding that he was absent partly because of the shift of the time of the meeting and his ill-health.
He insisted that his colleagues were adequately informed just as he sent apologies sent through three governors .He therefore wondered why his absence could be misunderstood as pulling out.
According to Aliyu, “The day we were to hold the meeting, I wasn’t feeling well but I had the intention to go and because my state capital is the nearest to Abuja, I usually estimate the time of arrival and drive straight to Abuja.
“On that day, I did not plan to leave Minna until 2pm since the meeting was slated for 8pm, then I got a call that the Sokoto state governor had requested a shift in time because he had a programme the next day on the opening of the state university and he requested that the meeting is shifted from 8pm to 2pm.
“So I sent an apology because there was no way I could meet up with them since I was still in Minna by 2pm. I spoke to three of my colleagues and asked them to help me tender my apologies especially as I was not feeling too well but I had intended to travel.
He said ,”When other of my colleagues were not around, I attended meetings on their behalf, I don’t see why my absence would be conjured to mean I have pulled out of the G7”.
Th Niger state governor said no member of the faction has an intention of pulling out of the party until the end of their dialogue and negotiation with President Goodluck Jonathan.
“This is not the time for anyone to pull out of the party when out of respect for the office of the President and the President himself, we are discussing. There is no way you can wake up and say you are pulling out when you are already negotiating. You cannot pull out at this moment. The time for decision to be taken will be when we have concluded discussion with the President.
“After the conclusion and agreement at the end of the discussion, those who may be satisfied with the outcome will take their decision, the same with those not satisfied with the outcome. Despite anyone’s decision, we will still remain as Nigerians.”
Speaking further, he said,”the whole essence of G7 is to ensure that there is democracy in the ruling party believing that if there is no democracy in PDP, there cannot be democracy in the country.
“It is not the question of saying we gang up to jump one party to the other. That is an option but that is a decision that will be taken after we have finished discussion with the President and arriving at the conclusion” Aliyu said.