Governor Bello and Senator Umaru are at logger head over the appointment of key officers, particularly, the Secretary to State Government (SSG) who is said to be from the same area with the governor while the people of the senator’s zone are said to have been completely cut off in the scheme of affairs in the state.
The no-love-lost between Governor Bello and Senator Umaru, our correspondents’ findings revealed led to the fractionalising of the APC in the state. Members are divided between the two, including the two other senators who are said not to be too comfortable with what is happening in the state.
Senator Umaru reacting to the Governor’s claim during a breakfast meeting with the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state a few days ago that he (Umaru) had retracted his condemnations about key appointments had insisted, ‘I stand by my words’.
Governor Bello during the breakfast meeting also claimed that Senator Umaru said the statement demanding for equal representation of zone was personal and was not made on behalf of the people of Niger East which he represents at the National Assembly.
Senator Umaru, representing Niger-East have shortly after the announcements faulted key appointments so far made by Governor Bello, citing a clear deviation from the rule of federal character which provides that; religion, tribal and senatorial considerations must be respected.
Apart from the principles of Federal Character, Senator Umaru had in a statement argued that fairness and equity were never considered, particularly in the key appointments and therefore insisted that the three senatorial zones should be equally represented in government.
He said the appointment of the SSG from the same geographical area with the Governor was aimed at short changing his area after senatorial districts had shared the positions of the Governor and that of Deputy Governor respectively.
Senator Umaru is therefore advising Governor Sani Bello to do away with the cabals that are now controlling his administration from behind the scene in order to be more open to the people to avoid destruction of the goodwill showered on the APC by the electorates in the state.
“I have never made a statement and retracted it. I do not see any reason why I should make this statement and retract it. I am aware that the governor said that zone ‘B’ do not have a leader. I think it is fool hardy for anybody to say such a thing. My politics have always been people oriented and I have never pretended to do otherwise”, Senator Umaru pointed out.
“The Governor cannot speak for me; he can only speak for himself. I spoke on the behave of my people and I will always speak for them”, Umaru pointed out as he insisted that except he do away with some self seeking people that pose to be his friends Bello could be lured into political pitfalls that will cause more harm than good to the state.
While urging his critics not to see his views on important matters such as the marginalization of his senatorial zone as being unnecessarily antagonistic to the Sani Bello-led government, Umaru, however, said he cannot be a party to a situation that will nurture dictatorship in Niger state.