Niger gov defies party, swears-in PDP member as local govt chair

Posted by News Express | 12 May 2020 | 1,413 times

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•Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello


The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, on Monday defied the wishes of his own party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), as he swore-in Mallam Safiyanu Yahaya of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the Chairman of Magama Local Government Council.

Governor Bello, who presided over the swearing-in ceremony at the Government House in Minna on Monday after five months of a legal battle, said “we must begin to respect the rule of law in this country.”

Governor Bello’s action was in obedience to a Minna High Court 5 ruling which quashed the election of Salihu Ubandoma of the APC as the elected Chairman of Magama local government council in the November 30, 2019 local government election on the ground of pre-election offense.

The court then declared Safiyanu Yahaya of the PDP as winner of the election and ordered the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ubandoma forthwith and issue same to Yahaya as the duly elected council chairman.

Before the swearing-in, the state Chairman of the APC, Engineer Jibrin Iman, had asked the governor to resist any pressure to swear-in the chairman on the ground that the party had appealed against the high court judgement.

Imam disclosed that the case is already before the appeal court seeking a reversal of the judgement and therefore “it will be counter productive and embarrassing to the party and current administration if the governor did anything contrary.”

But the governor, taking a contrary view, ordered that the chairman be sworn-in in obedience to the court decision, saying “democracy is all about the rule of law.”

The governor at exactly 4:05 pm on Monday walked into the council chamber and took his seat as he watched Justice Salihu Alhassan Majidadi administer the oath of office and allegiance on the new chairman.

The governor, without uttering a ward, immediately took his leave after the ceremony which lasted only 10 minutes.

Speaking after the brief event, the newly sworn-in chairman described Governor Bello as a man of justice who has demonstrated an absolute respect for the rule of law by acting in compliance with the directive of the court.

He said despite belonging to a rival political party, the governor took the best decision by respecting the decision of the court and swore him in as the duly elected Chairman of Magama local government.

He said the victory is for democracy and the people of Magama, stressing that “their will has finally prevailed.” (Daily Sun)

Source: News Express

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