Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, has explained why Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, missed the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Progressives Governors.

He gave the explanation in a statement shortly after the governors paid homage to the President in Daura, Katsina State.

He noted that Governor Bello was absent at the meeting because of the burial of his stepmother who died recently.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, expressed sorrow on the death of Madam Rekiya Momoh Bello, the stepmother of Yahaya Bello, the governor of Kogi State.

“The governor’s absence at the meeting of Progressive Governors with the President in Daura, Katsina State earlier in the day got the attention of President Buhari and was informed of the death of Madam Rekiya, whose burial made Governor Bello to stay back in his state,” the statement said.

The President, according to Shehu, expressed condolences to the family, the government and people of Kogi State over the irreparable loss.

He also wished peace for the departed soul and prayed to Allah to grant her bereaved families the strength to bear the loss.

Earlier, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and other governors elected on the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s platform paid homage to the President.

Among the visiting governors were Babajide Sanwoolu (Lagos), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).

Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has also commiserated with Governor Bello on the death of his stepmother.

“My heartfelt sympathy goes to the governor, his family, the State Government and people of Kogi,” the Senate President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi.

The Senate President prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and for Allah to comfort the family.

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