The Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammadu Badaru, and his deputy, Umar Namadi, on Saturday were absent as Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, visited the state to campaign for votes from APC delegates in the party’s forthcoming presidential primary.
A schedule of the visit seen by our reporter stated that Mr Osinbajo would first visit the palace of the emir of Dutse, Nuhu Muhammad-Sunusi, before meeting with Mr Badaru at the Government House.
The schedule showed that he would then meet with delegates at the Three Star Hotel, to canvas their support before leaving the state.
But things didn’t go as planned as the governor was said to be in neighbouring Kano State.
The Vice President rescheduled the original appointment with the governor from 1 p.m to 3 p.m. but still could not meet with Mr Badaru.
The Emir of Dutse, Muhammad-Sunusi, who had endorsed the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, for President, was also said to be out of the state during Mr Osinbajo’s visit.
Sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the governor, who is also an aspirant in the primary, left the state on the same day the vice president visited.
Our sources added that he also directed members of his party’s executive council in the state not to be present during the VP’s visit.
However, the secretary to the state government, Abdulkadir Fanini, received Mr Osinbajo and his entourage.
The deputy governor, Mr Namadi, was also not in the state.
His media aide, Ahmed Haruna, told reporters that he was in Abuja attending the screening of governorship aspirants.
The governor’s spokesperson, Habibu Kila, did not respond to a message seeking comment on the reason the governor was not in the state to receive his guest.
Also, the secretary, Dutse Emirate Council, Wada Alhaji, could not be reached Sunday morning on his known telephone contact.
After the meeting, the Vice President expressed optimism he would get the support of the delegates.
Mr Osinbajo, who met the delegates behind closed doors, said he was hopeful the delegates understand the situation of the country.
“Obviously, all the issues that we discussed are ones that concern the country very significantly,” the vice president told reporters after the meeting.
He said their discussion centred on agriculture, security, youth empowerment, education and technology and other wide varieties of things.
“The meeting is extremely fruitful, the delegates all understood where we were coming from and what we will be doing in a few years ahead.
“It’s very exciting meeting, all of us are very happy that we are able to have engagement,” he said.
The vice president left the state without meeting any top officials from the state and he reportedly avoided a lunch prepared for him at the Jigawa Government House.
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