July 18, 2024

Outrage in Niger as Gov, Deputy, Speaker, State EXCO members travel to Saudi for Hajj


The decision by Niger State Governor, Mohammed Umaru Bago, to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage, alongside the deputy governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba and Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji, has sparked outrage among residents of the state.

It was gathered that the governor and his deputy departed the state between Sunday and Monday for the yearly pilgrimage.

Residents have accused the governor of not being serious with governance, claiming he had abandoned his responsibility alongside his deputy, leaving the people to their fate in the face of severe security challenges in the state.

Opposition political parties in the state expressed displeasure over the development, noting that the absence of the governor, deputy governor, Speaker and majority of members of the State Executive Council had paralyzed government activities.

Alhaji Umar Danladi Abdulhamid of the Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, condemned the development.

“I am shocked at the way and manner Governor Mohammed Umar Bago administration has been operating without respect to the feelings of the citizens in spite of the current security problems facing the state.

“More shocking is abandoning the state without transmitting power in line with the Constitution. It is not a good omen for the state. This calls for caution and reversal,” he observed.

Similarly, the Niger North Zonal Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Yahaya Ability, said the All Progressives Congress, APC, is known for outright violation of the laws especially under the leadership of Governor Mohammed Umar Bago of Niger State.

According to him, “Most unfortunate is that Governor Bago left the country to perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia without remorse. He left the state the very day two military personnel were shot by the bandits at Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area while four LGAs, Rafi Shiroro, Munya and Mariga, were under attack daily and scores being killed.

“The matter is worse because the Assembly Speaker Abdulmalik Sarkin-Daji who supposed to receive a written letter of transmission of power also left together with the governor. This goes to show that the Assembly is a stooge and under the pocket of the governor.”

The zonal PDP chairman further argued, “Section 190 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended cannot be observed in breach as it makes clear provision for absence of a governor without anticipation of both of them leaving their seats at the same time.”

He urged the people of the state to go back to the drawing board and ensure they vote out the ruling APC in 2027, for good governance.

Ability called for the immediate return of the governor, the deputy governor and other government officials, to the state, to ensure security as well as in respect to the nation’s Constitution.

Efforts to get the response of the state government to the issues raised by the opposition parties were not successful.

The Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Alhaji Abubakar Usman, and the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor, Bologi Ibrahim, refused to respond when calls were put through to them

Currently, it appears that the state is being administered by the SSG alongside the Chief of Staff, CoS, to the Governor, Abdullah Usman Gbatamagi.

However, a source in the government, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, noted that the governor “can manage the state from any part of world with the aid of information technology”.



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