Niger gov, senator bicker over allegation of marginalisation
SENATOR representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator David Umaru has said that neither the party nor the state Governor Abubakar Sani Bello can gag him, saying that as a representative of the people, he will continue to speak for his people when things are going wrong.
The Senator was reacting over his criticism by the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger state for his comments that people from his senatorial zone are being marginalized in the key political appointments so far made by the Governor despite given the party 100% vote during the election.
Senator David Umaru, who spoke in Minna while briefing newsmen on the recent face off between him and the Governor over the purported marginalization of his people pointed out that as the representative of the people, he must speak out if injustice is being done to them.
The Senator said it was hypocritical for the APC to ask him not to speak when things are going wrong, especially as it affects his people, stressing “as a senator I didn’t take any oath that I will not speak or I should not speak for my people when things are going wrong.”
According to him “I never took blood oath or any kind of oath at all not to speak the truth, or that if I see anything I should keep quiet. I cannot be gagged by anybody, nobody can stop me from speaking for, and on behalf of my people and even the party cannot. I am representing my people and I must speak for them.”
Barrister Umaru maintained that despite the criticism from both the party and the governor, his position that his people are marginalized stood, adding “there was no equity in the distribution of key offices.”
“I will advise that the APC concentrate in building the party and getting new members which is its primary responsibilities instead of the Chairman abandoning the party Secretariat and taking refuge in government and being made to chair one committee or the other.”
He maintained that the governor should respect the Federal Character principle on the distribution of appointment into his cabinet, pointing out, “The APC should advise Governor Bello to ensure equity so that everybody in the state can have a feel of belonging.
“When issue like this happen, they should advise the governor that there is need to have equity. I still maintain that the distribution of offices that has been appointed so far is not equitable, and Niger East has been short-changed.
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