Nigerian governor Sani Bello emerges as protector and defender of rule of law, condemns refusal to swear-in opposition councilors

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Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

A Nigerian governor is rising out of the pack by doing what many are unable to do: To protect and defend the rule of law.

After all, what makes a republic is democracy, a set of rules that vest power in the hands of many people and institutions, especially the judiciary, the executive and the legislature.

In Nigeria’s northern state of Niger, Governor Sani Bello is emerging as a star.

On Sunday, he condemned the refusal by some council chairmen not to swear in councilors from the opposition parties.

He reasoned it was unlawful to do so and fired out a statement his office sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.

Governor Bello said the decision of some local government council chairmen not to swear-in their elected Vice Chairmen and or Councilors is wrong and against the rule of law.

The Governor made his position known while addressing the newly elected local chairmen at the closing of a 3-day retreat held for them in Kaduna.

“The Rule of Law is key. For those of you that have deliberately or mistakenly refused to swear-in councilors because they come from opposition party is wrong,” Mr. Bello said.

According to him, imposition of candidates often leads a party to lose election and also forces some candidates to leave the party and run under a different political party platform.

The Governor noted that, it was due to the wrong candidate imposed by ‘some people’ in his ward in Kontagora, that the APC failed to secure the councilor’s position stressing that if he, as the state Governor let it be, why then would the Chairmen not swear in the Councilors from the opposition, he queried.

Governor Sani Bello admonished the Chairmen to find a subtle way to settle their political differences adding that divergent political views would always arise and create challenges in the discharge of their duties with their Vice Chairmen and Legislators.

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) not only represents change but also stands for fairness, fair-play and justice stressing that this must be seen to be exercised by the members of party and its leaders.

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