The Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Barrister David Umaru, has told the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, to beware of dealings with the cabal in the state.
Umaru, while calling on the governor to cut away from the cabal now controlling his administration from behind the scene and be more open to the people, said Federal Character Commission principles must be adhered to in appointments.
He warned that this must be strictly noted in order to avoid the destruction of the goodwill showered on the All Progressives Congress in the state.
The senator gave this warning in Minna while responding to Governor Bello’s claim that he (Umaru) had retracted a statement on the marginalisation of Niger East Senatorial District in the governor’s appointment of key officers recently.
Umaru had in a recent statement called on the administration to adhere to the principles of federal character of fairness and equity in appointments in the state, insisting that the appointment of the Secretary to the State Government from the home compound of the Governor in Kontagora was aimed at shortchanging the people of Zone B after Zone C and Zone A had shared the positions of the Governor and that of Deputy Governor respectively.
However, during a breakfast meeting with members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Niger State Council few days ago, the governor had accused newsmen of blowing the senator’s statement out of proportion.
Bello, insisting that in a private meeting Umaru denied making the statement in the way it was reported in the media.
Bello also claimed that the senator said the statement was personal and not on behalf of the people of Niger East Senatorial District, which he represents in the National Assembly.
In a swift reaction, Senator Umaru in an interview explained that he never retracted the statement.
He said: “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 does not have a leader.
“I think it is foolhardy for anybody to say that there is no leadership in Zone B.
“My politics has always been people oriented.
“I have never pretended to do otherwise.
“Any statement I made is as a result of my interaction with my people after taking position on issues.
“I have always spoken for the people and I will always speak for the people.
“On this issue of appointments, I spoke for the people of Zone B.
“Whether anybody likes it or not, today, by the special Grace of God, I am the senator representing Zone B, the Niger East, and automatically that makes me a leader of the zone.
“I do not need anybody to speak for me.
“The Governor cannot speak for me.
“He can only speak for himself.
“I spoke on behalf of my people and I will always speak for my people.”
Furthermore, Umaru called on critics not to see his views on important matters as unnecessarily being antagonistic to the government, saying that however he cannot be party to a situation that will nurture dictatorship.
Accordingly, he said: “I am being helpful to the Governor.
“This is because he probably has people who can only talk what he wants to hear.
“It seems they are trying to elevate sycophancy to a certain height.
“That is not the way I do my things.
“I will always say the truth.
“There is the saying that truth is bitter but they should learn to accept this bitter pill because that is what we need.”