Niger state Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on Wednesday avoided the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki who was on a private visit to the state.
Saraki arrived Minna by air at about 3.58 pm and drove in a motorcade to the uphill residence of former military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.
He was accompanied by Senator Shaba Lafiagi, two other senators and four aides.
Authoritative source told one of our correspondents that the Niger state government was informed about the “private visit” of Senate President, Bukola Saraki while the governor was presiding over the weekly state executive council meeting at the council chambers.
It was gathered that as a result, the governor adjourned the meeting and took off to Abuja.
By protocol, the governor was the most senior public servant that should receive the Senate President.
But Governor Bello instead of receiving the Senate President sent his commissioner for Investment to the airport to receive Saraki before taking off to Abuja.
Political observers attributed Governor Bello’s action to the fact that the Senate president had defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party they both belonged to before the defection.
It was also learnt that Governor Bello’s action was to further reemphasize the fact that he still belongs to the ruling APC contrary to the rumour that he was defecting to the PDP with Saraki.
The meeting with Babangida by Saraki was held behind closed doors and lasted close to two hours.
Their discussion according to political observers was not unconnected with Tuesday’s siege on the National Assembly and the political situation in the country as well as his reported plan to contest the presidency in 2019.
Saraki and his entourage left the IBB residence at about 5.55pm, arrived the airport at 6.16 pm but declined to talk to journalists.
One of his aides told journalists that “this is a private visit, he will not talk to anyone”.
The senate president later flew off in a chartered flight with registration number 5NBOD at about 6.20pm.