Nigerian governor says all 4 wives are first lady

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ABUJA, Sep 19 (Reuters) A Nigerian state governor has declined to resolve a row between his four wives over who is the official first lady, arguing that they can all take on the role, Nigerian newspapers reported today.

Murtala Nyako's wives have been widely criticised in the media for arguing over who should represent northeastern Adamawa state alongside the governor -- a role that normally comes with perks such as official cars, staff and security guards.

''I am a Muslim and as such, all my wives have equal status. So far, I have not declared any one of them to be first lady,'' Nyako was quoted as saying by several national newspapers.

He said that all four of his wives were highly educated and therefore could contribute to the development of Adamawa.

But he denied allegations that he had used state funds to buy cars for his wives or renovate their houses.

''We are not riding in public vehicles. We live in the same house. We have not changed the furniture,'' he said.

The row comes at a time when another scandal, involving the speaker of the House of Representatives, has turned the public mood strongly against profligate spending by government officials.

The speaker is under investigation by fellow members of the House over allegations that she spent 5 million dollars in public money on renovating two official residences that were almost new, and on buying 12 official cars.

REUTERS SG ND1828

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