Two Nigerian governors may be heading for a showdown over a comment one of them made about Senator Dino Melaye.
Akwa Ibom State governor, Emmanuel Udom, has lashed out at his Kogi counterpart, Governor Yahaya Bello whom he said lacked professionally- minded media handlers.
He said it was the governor’s poor media team that made him rush in directing the “issuance of a press statement where he was quoted to have said a number of unsanitised things about a Brother Governor on an issue that was at best innocuous and done with no malice.”
Udom was reacting to a statement credited to Bello and signed by his director-general, Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo where the Akwa Ibom governor was attacked by his Kogi counterpart.
Bello had in a paid advertorial, lambasted Udom for describing Senator Dino Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial District, as a “General” in the Senate.
Udom was said to have made the description during a recent empowerment programme organised by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio in Ikot Ekpene.
But in his reply to Bello, Udom through his Senior Special Assistant on Media/Chief Press Secretary, Ekerete Udoh, described as unfortunate Bello’s reaction.
He said, “The job of professionally- minded media handlers of a public servant is to dispassionately present an unvarnished truth about a given situation to his principal and advise him on the best possible means of reaction.
“We are afraid the Kogi State Governor was not served well by his Director-General of Media and Publicity here otherwise he would have resisted the rush to direct the issuance of a press statement where he was quoted to have said a number of unsanitized things about a Brother Governor on an issue that was at best innocuous and done with no malice.
“Governor Yahaha Bello’s media team should align with globally acceptable best practices in democratic governance where leaders are usually circumspect in their choice of words while engaging their counterparts. If the Governor’s media team truly meant well, it should have advised the Governor that he will look snippy, truculent and un-gubernatorial in the court of public opinion if he were seen to be joining issues with his Brother Governor.”
While he said that his government is not interested in the local politics of Kogi State, he added, that if Bello “has challenges paying salaries, we don’t have such problems here in our state, as our civil servants get paid regularly.”
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