Matawalle’s unguarded statements causing political crisis in Zamfara
A socio-political group, the Zamfara Integrity Forum (ZIFO), has alleged that both the Minster of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, were fomenting needless political crisis through the issuance of unguided and inflammatory statements in the state.
The coordinator of the group, Alh. Yunus Zubairu, who stated this in a statement on Friday in Kaduna, said the minister’s actions could make the state ungovernable and disturb the fragile peace the state is currently enjoying.
“The good people of Zamfara state reject in totality the antagonistic posture of the former governor who should instead be focused on his national assignment.
The statement recalled that under Matawalle as governor for four years, the state witnessed the worst of insecurity since its creation on October 1, 1996.
“Insecurity became quite alarming in the Zamfara state under the watch of Bello Matawalle who incidentally was made governor through the court, not by popular votes of the people.
According to Zubairu, when Matawalle took over as governor in 2019, Zamfara state’s poverty rate was 73.98 percent, making it one of the worst as against the national average of 40.1 percent.
“Instead of improving the situation, the people got poorer. The state had a higher percentage of poor people than Sokoto, Taraba, Jigawa, Ebonyi, and Adamawa states, according to a report by Statista.
“The multi-dimensional poverty index released in November 2022, stated that 78 percent of Zamfara people are poor, meaning poverty worsened under Matawalle, from 74 to 78 percent,” the group stated.
The statement said it is unthinkable that it is Matawalle who mismanaged the state that would be antagonizing the current administration in the state.
“If not the APC, which party would accommodate the likes of Matawalle in its fold? It was due to his zero political worth that led to his woeful defeat in the 2023 elections.
“The needless campaign of calumny against Governor Lawal Dauda will amount to distraction from discharging his duty as the chief security officer of the state and his strenuous efforts in restoring lasting peace with Matawalle in the forefront, if he truly loves the state.
“We are interested in seeing economic growth, peace, and security in the state. Matawalle who now is occupying a very responsible and strategic position, should instead use his position to bring peace by combating crime, especially in the North-west and particularly Zamfara.
“Instead of doing just that he’s busy fanning the embers of discord among the people of the state”, it said.
Matawalle and the APC should gloat over the loss of the election in the state and subsequently at the tribunal and be magnanimous and gallant in their loss.
They warned the minister to retrace his steps and focus on ensuring that Nigeria is more peaceful, adding that if he fails to heed their warning they would be forced to write to Mr President.
The group urged Matawalle to concentrate on his new job in Abuja and allow peace to reign so that the good people of Zamfara who rejected him and his APC in a clear contest could witness development.
“It is said that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. The records of Matawalle’s performance do not show him as a performer.
“He is, therefore, the wrong person to criticize a government in Zamfara state, thinking that the governor will do a miracle in a month where he and his party, APC, failed to make a positive impact in more than a decade.”