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GOVERNOR MATAWALLE’S SECURITY CONCIOUSNESS AND THE NEEDLESS UPROAR OVER VEHICLES “GIFT” TO ZAMFARA MONARCHS

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By Yusuf Idris Gusau

(APC Publicity Secretary, Zamfara State)

 

Within the last few days, there have been what seems to be an orchestrated campaign to incite the Zamfara public against the personality and administration of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle by certain elements in the society.

The elements who have been apparently waiting in the wing for quite a while, where they retreated to after their unsuccessful bid to bring Matawalle’s administration down through sustained onslaught in the media, now see the recent distribution of vehicles to traditional rulers and clerics as veritable leeway with which to launch themselves back.

And they seems to have succeeded going by the armies of recruits they deployed in the frontline, most of which donned the toga of reputable and leading news medium. To others that survive mainly through mercenaries profiteering using social media space as war zones, however, it is futile reasoning with them that the vehicle gift gesture is a noble one and deserved positive highlights.

But for the traditional media to also get caught in the anti-Matawalle spin shows the extent the administration’s enemies can go in their offensive. Even in the coverage of what is ordinarily a simple event, the opposition media display their invectiveness in screaming headlines, while the neclus of the story was lost.

More disturbing is the fact that His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III’s speech was not given the deserved attention. Instead, only a sentence was used to reflect the fact that he was the special guest of honour at the occasion. If they had done justice to what His Eminence said, the importance of the event and goodwill behind the gesture would not have been lost on the people. But they chose to highlight what they wanted the public to believe in their attempt to paint the gesture in bad light.

Among the bad press the gesture elicited, that of the LEADERSHIP newspapers stood out; it was as if the outfit was out for vengeance and had to go out of it’s way in achieving its objective. It went beyond the mere routine stories most media did on the event to allocate almost a full page space to unleash what seems to be a pent up anger taking on Matawalle, Zamfara State Government, the Royal Fathers that benefited from the gesture amongst others in the 733 words piece.

Apparently on a mission, which outcome is yet to come to light, the newspaper took the issue as a personal war worthy of an Editorial, reeling out imagery statistics on poverty level, development indices and state’s debt profile to justify why the vehicles gesture is misplaced.

It concluded that “rather than deploying huge resources to service the traditional rulers, Governor Matawalle ought to channel these scarce resources to addressing challenges of insecurity, education and health care delivery.”
Well, it is okay for the paper to embark on such a self-righteous trip; in fact, it is part of its social responsibility to hold the leaders accountable, but it can only do that within the prisms of facts because facts are sacred and they oiled a well balanced interventions.

If the paper had taken pain to study the various speeches made during the occasion and properly analyze same, its interventions, if any on the development would have been guided by reason. But it chose to ignore that most important journalism dictum and rushed to press in stead.
And the speed with which the paper put its data and statistics on Zamfara together is quite unnerving to say the least. But you can’t beat the speed of a man on a mission goes a popular saying.

The important aspect of the Sultan and indeed Matawalle’s speeches during the symbiotic presentation were that the vehicles were part of measures to curbing insecurity in the state as they are also fitted with communication gadgets which would enable the traditional rulers to reach out to security agencies in case of an emergency.

It is common knowledge that the bandits terrorising parts of the state always take advantage of absence of communication facilities with which residents could reach out to appropriate authorities, to unleash terror and escape to safe abodes. So if Matawalle in his wisdom decided to bridge this disturbing gap by providing the traditional rulers whose domains are under constant attacks the leeway to call for security interventions at such dire times, should we rush to condemn him? Point be made that those vehicles were not just fancy luxury cars that our friends in the LEADERSHIP want the public to believe.

There is also the need to emphasis here that long before this intervention, the Matawalle’s administration, donated 200 brand new vehicles well equipped with communication gadgets to all the security operatives in the state, along with monthly inprest to cater for their maintenance. This is outside the stipend the governor releases to the officers monthly amongst other similar interventions. It is important to also recall here the establishment of a Ministry of Security and Home Affairs for the first time in the state to tackle the issue of insecurity as well as the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to offer immediate emergency service and build confidence on attacked communities and victims throughout the state.

The Sultan also commended Matawalle for his collaborative effort with other neigbouring states and even Niger Republic in stemming the tide of banditry in the state yet the paper did not see that as worthy of their space.
The paper must be told that the fact that the action and inaction of some traditional rulers aided the activities of bandits in the past shouldn’t elicit stringent measures to cut off others from performing their roles as the custodian of the people as doing so would be counterproductive and injurious to the ongoing war against insecurity.

It is important that the paper take interest in the interventions that are going on all the sectors especially key ones like health, education, works and housing, water resources amongst others, where tremendous achievements are being made, instead of dwelling only on what it views as the negatives so as to save itself from the embarrassment of misrepresentation of facts.
It is also wrong for the paper to say the state government is not taking interest in the many mineral deposits and agricultural potentials that the state is endowed with. With the speed which the paper reeled out its data about the state of affairs in the state, it should have known that Zamfara is the leading producer of agriculture products in Nigeria’s Northwest.
Out of the total area of 3,247,366 hectares covered by the State, 2,673,492 hectares are arable land cultivated mainly by small-scale farmers. Major crops grown in the State include food crops such as sorghum, millet, maize and rice, and cash crops like groundnut, cotton, beans, tomatoes, pepper and onions.

Significantly however, it is in sorghum production that Zamfara earned its place as Nigeria’s leading producer and putting the country on the world’s map as one of the key exporters. It is also common knowledge that Zamfara is also one of the leading producers of groundnut.

As per the solid minerals that abound in the state, the paper is aware of the controversies that trailed this administration’s move to collaborate with the federal government to boost the sector. Solid minerals are federally controlled. Sometimes ago the governor had approached the nation’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and by extension the Federal Government for the possibility of boosting the mining sector in the state under the anchor-borrower scheme. The bank will invest the sum of N5 billion for the state to supply it with gold as proceeds of the investment over time, while under the arrangement, the state government was to purchase the gold from the miners and supply it to the bank.

The federal government had commenced the process of licensing the companies that had indicated interest in mining in the area. What this means for the state was that the gold will no longer be used to fuel the activities of the bandits with the governor stylishly cutting their hold on the supply chain. The second fundamental advantage Matawalle’s gesture threw up was that the state government would have more fund to embark on more projects for the benefit of the people as the internally generated revenue will swell.

But as usual, those who were profiteering from the seeming lucrative “banditry business” were uncomfortable with the turn of event and have resorted to campaign of calumny against the governor. The sworn anti-north elements fuelled the misconception that the state government was taking over the minerals within its domain, even as it was public knowledge that mining is exclusive right of the federal government. Their charade needlessly attracted resources control agitators and senior lawyers who worked hard to frustrate the initiative.

The state government has also not neglected the poor and orphans as it has been doing all within its power to provide for them. Recently it purchased items worth N1.8 billion and distributed to them. The state government is also catering for about 40, 000 orphans across the 17 emirate councils in the state with N896 million recently released for their welfare amongst other interventions, which the space would not be enough to enumerate.
It is no doubt important to highlight here that the paper should avoid the temptation of taking easy route in its pursuit of news as doing so would put its integrity at stake. Also, as a medium based in the North, it should know that the region values its traditional institutions, the more reason why stories around them must be factual. If the Zamfara function is so anti-people as the paper editorialized on, the Sultan would not have honoured an invitation to grace it,and if he did attend, it is to speak the truth to power, not to commend Matawalle for the gesture.
Come to think of it, vehicle gifts to traditional rulers is a common phenomenon in Nigeria with the ministries of local government and chieftaincy affairs contributing to the endeavour once in a while. Bauchi’s Bala Mohammed distributed some recently without a much fuss. It is okay to hide behind the banditry situation in Zamfara to condemn such gesture but it is also pertinent to look at the underlying current behind the gifts before questioning its morality.

Gusau is the Zamfara State APC Publicity Secretary

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DAUDA LAWAL GAMJIN GUSAU IS FULLY IN ZAMFARA GUBERNATORIAL RACE

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One of the spokespersons of PDP gubernatorial aspirant in Zamfara Zaharadeen Bello Imam has refuted the rumor making round the public that, his principal Dauda Lawal has stepped down from the Zamfara state gubernatorial race.

Mr Bello who spoke exclusively to the Managing Editor of Thunder Blowers Multimedia Services on Sunday said, his principal Gamjin Gusau is fully on the race and is making all arrangements possible to face the ruling APC if he eventually secured the PDP ticket.

“We are appealing to the teeming support of Gamjin Gusau to disregard such mischievous information, hence Dauda Lawal is fully in the race” the statement added.

He thanked the entire people of Zamfara for their overwhelming support and goodwill to his principal.

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SATURDAY’S POLITICS WITH…

(Thunder Blowers Multimedia Services)

AN ANALYSIS OF THE FUTURE OF ZAMFARA APC AHEAD OF 2023 ELECTION

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Maru/Bungudu is one of the federal legislative constituencies in Zamfara which is going to be keenly contested under the platform of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

While some of the aspirants are joining the race on their own, others are hiding under the influence of their political godfathers to get the ticket at the level of the party primaries.

Though the Governor through the consensus arrangements has sacrificed the seat to the Yari faction of the APC which eventually it was handed down to Abdul-Malik Zubairu Zannan Bungudu, some other aspirants went either on the own to obtained the nomination forms at the party Secretariat in Abuja while others took the decision of obtaining the nomination forms through the influence of some other power brokers within the APC.

As at now, four aspirants are contesting the ticket of Maru/Bungudu at the level of party primaries which will be based on direct, indirect or consensus mode.

ABDULMALIK ZUBAIRU (ZANNAN BUNGUDU)

He served as the lawmaker representing the constituency between 2015-2019 and worn the seat for the second term during the 2019 election before the victory was aborted by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He is a strong loyalist of former Governor Abdulazeez Yari and has remained with him since the political coincidence of the 2019.

He initially he intended to defect to the PDP after Yari lost his bid to emerge as the National Chairman of the ruling APC but the recent reconciliation which favoured his political camp influenced his change of decision.

He is no doubt one of the strongest politicians in the Zamfara Central Senatorial zone, especially with his existing political structure, which he used in winning the 2015 and 2019 election under the same APC.

He now enjoys the good-will of his political master Abdulazeez Yari couple with the existing state structure led by Matawalle which are some of his baseline factors that may place him above other contenders in the primaries.

But there are those with the opinion that even without the support and good will of his political leader and support of the state structure of the party, he has the skills and political experience of manipulating his way to secure the ticket of the party going by the political precedence that characterized his emergence in 2015.

ABDULRAHAMAN TUMBIDO (KOGUNAN MARU)

Abdulrahaman Tumbido was formally a legislative aide to the former Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima and he has gathered his Political experience from Yariman Bakura school of thought.

Before they parted away in 2022, Kogunan Maru has been one of the political pillars of the Gamjin Gusau political structure.

He is believed to be enjoying the goodwill of the former civilian Governor Ahmad Sani Yariman Bakura whom many believed will use his political experience to manipulate the party ticket for him.

He has expressed interest to contest for the same legislative seat in 2019 but could not make it.

He said his number one areas of interest if he succeeded in securing the ticket and winning the legislative seat is to empower the youths, support the government to end insecurity and also create job opportunities through agriculture and small and medium enterprises.

SUFIYANU USMAN DAN-MAI SALLAH

Sufiyanu Usman Dan-Mai Sallah is a certified National Accountant with multiple years of experience as an accountant working with the Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto and later Ahmad Bello University Zaria.

He has worked as an Accountant at Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto for eight years and later moved to Ahmadu Bello University Zaria as Financial Officer at Center for Energy Research and Training up to 2021.

He is currently a Technical Assistant to the Executive Chairman, Zamfara State Board of Internal Revenue and also an active member of the All Progressive Congress.

His move to contest for the position of member, federal house of representative for Maru and Bungudu is borne out of the pressure from the youth (his main constituency) and other concern citizens.

As at now, he has no political godfather which is known to the public, and from the look of things, he is riding on the good-will of the people of his constituency especially to secure the ticket of his party.

Many believed his academic credentials and years of experience in public service as holder of HND in Accounting, BSc in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Accounting is good enough to define his deserving competency to serve as representative of the people.

He is also a member of professional bodies including (ANAN), Association of Chartered Taxation Institute (ACTI) and also a member Certified Financial Analysis.

DR. BASHIR MARU

Dr. Bashir Maru is currently a Special Adviser to Zamfara state Governor and also Executive Chairman Zamfara State Hospital Management Board (a man with double portfolios) as he is fondly called.

Before his recent appointment, he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Zamfara State Governor between 2020 up to the middle of 2021.

He is a known comrade with years of experience as Student Union Activist who rose through the ladder to become a factional NANS President.

He worked in the various youth committees that struggled in ensuring the election and re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari under the auspices of the All Progressive Congress.

He is a trained medical doctor with years of experience and also worked with many civil society organizations.

Furthermore, he succeeded in bringing a lot of reforms that led to the liberation of the youths in the Northern Nigeria especially in the areas of education and health.

As of now, Bashir Maru has no political godfather who is sponsoring his aspiration but like he used to say, he’s riding on the good-will of the people to get his party ticket and expressed optimism that he will get the ticket through the party primaries.

THE UNRESOLVED CRISES AND PROJECTED OF POSSIBILITIES

The main concern regarding the APC candidature for Maru/Bungudu Federal constituency is how to get the conflict of interest among the contenders resolved.

As at now, nobody is certain of what may likely happen because the four contenders are showing no readiness to step down their interest.

The anointed candidate of the Governor who emerged through the consensus process Zannan Bungudu for instance is not too sure as to either if he can rely solidly on the good-will of the Governor and indeed the party (APC) to get the ticket if at all he has to face the three other contenders at the primaries.

He may not be sure again if the Governor can get him the control of the party delegates if at all indirect mode of primaries is approved for Zamfara state. And where direct mode of party primaries is approved, there are too many questions that begs for answer as it relates to chances of Zannan Bungudu.

And what many people cannot understand for now is whether there is an ongoing reconciliation effort championed by the Governor to get the three other aspirants to step-down for Zannan Bungudu and if that is not enforce it means Zannan Bungudu need to wake up and work his ways before it is too late.

As for those who understand the political strategies of Sen. Yarima very well, they knew Tumnido candidature can be a big threat to all the aspirants unless if he has stepped down before the conduct of the party primaries.

As for Bashir Maru and Sufiyanu Usman Dan Mai Sallah if the direct mode of primaries is approved for Zamfara state anyone of them can take advantage of the citizen’s popularity to hit at the nail on the head

May Allah make the race beneficial to the people of the constituency.

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ZAMAFRA APC GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANT GAJAM URGES NATIONAL HQTRS TO APPROVE DIRECT MODE OF PRIMARIES

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A gubernatorial aspirant of the All Progressive Congress in Zamfara Abdulmalik Garba Gajam has called on the National headquarters of the APC to allow for adoption of direct mode of primaries in Zamfara state.

Gajam who spoke exclusively to the Managing Editor of Thunder Blowers in Abuja on Wednesday insisted that, direct primaries is the only option that allows the citizens to select the best candidate for the Zamfara gubernatorial project in 2023 under the platform of the APC.

He reminded the APC National headquarters that since direct primaries were adopted in Zamfara in 2018 the same mode of primaries should be adopted in the overall interest of giving Zamfara citizens the deserving chance to vote for the right candidate.

“ we have absolute confidence in the President Muhammad Buhari as honest and trustworthy person and also have confidence in the ability of Abdullahi Adamu the national chairman of our great party to do justice to the people of Zamfara. All we are saying is approve direct primaries for people of Zamfara to decide their next Governor in 2023 and anything short of that it’s not justice”.

“I have confidence that, if direct primaries is approved for Zamfara I will defeat Governor Bello Matawalle hands down because people of Zamfara would vote for competency, they would vote for capacity, and they would vote for young agile man who has a blueprint to transform the state”.

“All we are saying is, the Governor should allow his projects to speak for him, he should allow for the government house renovation and construction of airport to buy him the confidence of the people who will conduct the primary election and this is what we called democracy”.

On what plan he has in the event direct primaries has not been approved for Zamfara, the politician said he has a vibrant strategy he intended to use and win the heart of the delegates which he said, he will not disclose to the media but insisted that, he has the confidence that the national headquarters of the party (APC) will approve direct mode of primary election for Zamfara state.

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