Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State said on Thursday that his embattled deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Ibeto, should have resigned immediately he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to All Progressives Congress.
According to the governor, Ibeto should have resigned on moral grounds.
Aliyu spoke with State House correspondents when he visited President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He was reacting to a question on why his deputy was walked out of the state executive council meeting and why he bypassed him to hand over to the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, when he recently travelled out of the country on Holy Pilgrimage.
The governor argued that since he and Ibeto were elected on a joint ticket, any diversion from the ticket should automatically lead to his deputy’s resignation.
He said, “We were elected on the same ticket and morally if you decide to cut away from that ticket, it will mean you should resign but our political culture has not gone to that level.
“I hope we will reach a situation that the society will demand that we voted you under this party, no matter the difficulties, three months to election, you decide to decamp.
“We are competing now, at least in competition and you sit down and listen to everything and you carry to the other side”.
The governor, however, denied walking Ibeto out of the council meeting, insisting that it was he (the deputy governor), who excused himself on moral ground.
Aliyu also explained that he did not handover to the deputy because he (the deputy governor) had earlier informed him that he was traveling to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.
He added, “I didn’t walk him out of the meeting; we said how does he resolve this morality matter and he said to me, excuse me while the council will decide on the matter.
“Secondly, on the 18th of February, I was already planning on the 19th of February to leave for Saudi Arabia when I saw his letter on my table saying he was going to leave on the same day and he was in Abuja attending APC meeting, I assume he was going and there is nothing legal or technical that prevents me from handing over to the Speaker. Nothing has been abused”.