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Zamfara State has been in the news for a very long time for a wrong reason. The once peaceful state assumed the notoriety of bandits’ headquarters following activities of some unscrupulous elements that held it by the jugular and forcing it on its knees for years. It became a killing field and at some point, even competing with Borno State in terms of casualty figures from the daily bloodletting.

It was a disturbing daily scenario that has hitherto haunted Nigeria as a nation and dented its image across its shores until Bello Matawalle came into the scene and turned the table against the marauders.

The governor adopted a conflict resolution mechanism centered on dialogue which culminated in a series of peace deals with overwhelming outcomes that drew accolades across the country.  The Matawalle approach to ending age long violence was the game changer which conflict experts had long advocated and craved.

Conflicts analysts believed the military option birthed more reactionaries and exacerbated the crisis rather than addressing it. They contended that in order prevent violent conflict from arising, societies need to be able to address underlying conditions that generate grievances and conflict, such as poverty, inequity, discrimination, and social exclusion. “Dialogue is needed to develop sustainable approaches to societal challenges and to build a culture of democracy. It’s  an essential tool for breaking down barriers and building connections across the divides in society,” an expert had elucidated.

This is possibly the reason why the dialogue option by Matawalle had elicited commendations; and as expected and predicted, the peace deal has been achieving the desired outcome with hundreds of bandits surrendering arms and denouncing violence. The deal opened access to markets, farms, schools which shut down at the peak of the offensive which left behind trails of death and destruction.

 “We applied the peace accord as a means of honest solution to the problem in Zamfara State, which has yielded tremendous results never expected in the last one year.

“However, our honesty and focus in the deal saw the near total drop in banditry attacks which allowed our roads, markets, schools and farms to be re-opened. In the same vein, nearly 1000 persons were willingly released by the ex-bandits and thousands of dangerous weapons willingly surrendered without payment of a single kobo” the governor had observed in one of his attractions with newsmen.

Understandably, many especially within the security circle, were surprised by the unprecedented success the move recorded in the lingering problem that have hitherto defied all solutions especially as similar efforts to get the marauding insurgents terrorizing communities across the North East to a roundtable have consistently failed in the past.

The peace deal also saw the release of many persons held captive by the bandits through negotiations from the areas of Dansadau, Kaura Namoda and Shinkafi and other areas, while discussion was ongoing between the contact committee and leaders of the bandits. The next step for the dialogue after securing the release of all the captives was the commencement of disarmament and collection of all rifles and other sophisticated weapons from the hands of both local militants and bandits.

However, the deal was not without its hiccup especially that some recalcitrant bandits backed down and resorted to mayhem and incurring the wrath of the governor which deployed the stick approach against them.

The carrot and stick approach has been impactful so much so that repentant bandits have joined the crusade in riding the state of criminal elements by working with the security agencies in tracking them and bringing them to justice. With the shifting of their base from Zamfara to Katsina, Sokoto, Niger and Kaduna states, it became imperative on the federal government to become more proactive by mobilizing army to set up Army Special Super Camp IV at Faskari, Katsina state, one of the local government areas sharing borders with Zamfara and a victim of several bandit attacks on innocent communities.

Beyond the bandit activities, the state government has also been reduced to the barest minimum, the raging conflict between farmers and herders through various initiatives. Key among the initiatives in this direction was the RUGA settlements drive which was intended to halt the migration of herders and their animals and avert their straying into farms and resultant conflict.

The gesture which was in tandem with the federal government’s livestock development plan, has been variously commended as a welcome development by many in the state and beyond. From its concept, a settlement has 250 household capacity, hospital, police station, modern diary, sales outlets, grazing area spanning 5km, veterinary, Islamic and western education schools, improved grass that can go all year round and can even be sold among others.  Each of the settlements will be constructed in each of the three senatorial districts of the state.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai who was conducted round the RUGA Fulani settlement in Maradun local government area of the state recently was elated at the development, which described as a significant step in addressing the security challenges in the country.  The Matawalle’s success story could serve as a model in stemming violence conflicts which are fast becoming our bane as a country.

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The mamooth crowd of young agile and vibrant politicians who are mostly the initiators of PDP and Atiku support groups that gathered at the APC North West Zonal Secretariat to surrender their political support for Asiwaju is an eye-opener that APC is gathering momentum and will in 2023 sweep the North West with relative ease.

Governor Bello Matawalle in company of the North West Vice Chairman for the APC Alh Salihu Lukman spent hours receiving the PDP and Atiku support groups who came on with their different narratives of how they have suffered in the hand of the PDP.

The National Secretary of the PDP Transformation Ambassadors Mal. Bashir Muhammad said despite the investment they have made in the PDP for years, they are pleased to have a political U-turn and join forces with Governor Bello Matawalle ok m the APC so that they will support him to deliver the Asiwaju presidential project.

He lamented that despite having strong political structures with a network of other political support groups across the divides of Nigeria, the PDP did not see reason to honor them with even recognition for the commitment they have demonstrated over the years.

Atiku Kawai another political support groups, lamented that PDP and Atiku had never for once, recognize their effort despite using their resources to build up structures across the (36) states of the Federation and Abuja where their headquarters is located noting that, to even see Atiku Abubakar after Investing on his Presidential candidature since after the primary election become something difficult.

Usman Muhammad Rabiu Bichi who is the National Coordinator of the movement said he went to the extent of reaching out to one of the biological children of Atiku for him to be able to see how he can take the leadership of the group to the Presidential candidate of the PDP, but it was story full of folktales.

He said with the support of Alh Masud Danguruf from Katsina and Alh Abdullahi Gama they have now rescinded from the PDP journey and agreed to join forces with the Governor Bello Matawalle in the APC.

The Governor who expressed happiness with the development insisted that Alh Masud Danguruf and Abdullahi Gama knew how hard he has invested for the PDP project and insisted that the best presidential project to be supported by the Nigerians is that of the APC.

He informed the young politicians that why he brought them to the Zonal Headquarters of the party in Kaduna is for the party leadership to be aware of their defection and also carried them along in the Asiwaju Ahmad Tinubu presidential journey.

He promised to support them at all time and urged them to redouble the commitment they have exhibited over the years for them to demonstrate the rationale behind their political movement.

They handed over their certificates of registration with the PDP to the Zonal Vice Chairman Salihu Lukman and hope to be re-registered in the APC.


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It was a series of political engagements for the Coordinator North West APC Presidential Campaign Council Governor Bello Matawalle as he received comity of PDP political support groups who decided to defect the opposition PDP for the ruling All Progressive Congress APC.

The APC North West Zonal Secretariat situated at Isah Kaita road Kaduna was filled to capacity as the groups mobilized supporters from across Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Somot and Kano.


The groups comprises the popular. Atiku Support Organization PDP Transformation Ambassadors Atiku Abubakar Kawai, PDP Mobilizers Initiative and Kasa Daya Al’umma Daya.

Others are Atiku/Okowo Frontiers Movement G7 Business Community, Katsina Biyayya Forum, Atiku Women and Youth Initiative as well as Atiku Nigeria Transformation Ambassadors.

The defection mantra attracted over 50,000 supporters from across the seven states of North West geo-political zone mostly involving youths, women and agile political class.

They both expressed confidence with the political maturity of Governor Bello Matawalle in unifying the party and making the APC stronger in the North West geo-political zone.

They also expressed dismay that they have to defect out of the PDP because the party and it’s Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar have refused to appreciate the effort of the support groups in the mobilization Frontiers for the success of the party.

Members of Atiku Support Organization and Atiku Abubakar Kawai specifically said they have invested heavily in the Atiku project since 2015 but noting that, nothing has came out of their suffering instead the candidate and indeed the party abandoned them to their fate.

They both expressed regret that they have to waste much of their times working for a party that does not recognized their effort and as such insisted that time has come for them to move ahead with the APC and bring the desired changes for the country.

G7 Business Community based in Kano and Katsina Biyayya Group explained that their movement is informed by the political behaviour of Bello Matawalle who is always advocating for true democratic reforms, Youth and women inclusion.

The two political groups invited Governor Bello Matawalle to honor them by going to Kano and Katsina and inaugurate their campaign officea which they rebranded after Bola Ahmad Tinubu and Kashim Shatima.

Governor Bello Matawalle who was looking visibly emotional thanked the young agile politicians for chosen to align with the Bola Ahmad Tinubu and APC noting that Tinubu project is the better option for transformed Nigeria.

He recalled that APC is the only party that uphold to the principles of power rotation saying the highest justice to be done to the people of the South is to be able to shift power to their region so that justice and equality can be ensured.

He told the defectees that Bola Tinubu has mapped out strategic development plans that would help consolidate the existing reforms embarked often by the party under President Muhammad Buhari.

He urged Nigerians to ignore those antagonists that are trying to hide under the umbrella of religion and raised baseless arguments that are of no effects to the political development of Nigeria.

He assured them of his commitment as the campaign Coordinator for Tinubu in ensuring that the defectees are well accommodated and also give them a sense of accommodation.

He promised the two support groups that extended an invitation to him that he will personally visit Kano and Katsina state to commission the campaign offices and also provide them with all the logistics support required.

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Governor Bello Matawalle narrated memory lane how the PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar abandoned him after he lost election.

The Governor who stated this while receiving PDP Transformation Ambassadors at the APC Zonal Headquarters in Kaduna insisted that, PDP is not a party to relied on considering how it abandoned those that suffered in making the party what it is.

I have been in the PDP for long and I will be in better position to tell those in the party how bad the PDP has been treating us despite the investment we have made to make it a great party.


“I have joined the PDP in 2011, and I used my personal resources to build the party to greatness. When former Governor Mamuda convinced me to defect to PDP same party abandoned him to his fate and  and made him carelessly lost election despite having PDP at the control of the center”.

“I fought the former Governor Yarima who came from my zone and I won my seat of the Federal House of Reps without any support from my party”.

“In the year 2019 I contested for the post of Governor of Zamfara under the PDP and nobody from my party including Atiku Abubakar supported me with a dime and even after we lost election, I used my money to pursue the defeat of the PDP in court and I paid all the cost of litigation from Governorship to state assembly without the support of anybody in the party not even the Presidential candidate”.

“It will surprise you to note that, at a point, Atiku Abubakar stopped picking my calls because I have lost election, and he moved to Dubai and abandoned us to our fate”.

“After the Supreme Court announced my emergence as the substantive Governor of Zamfara Atiku called to congratulate me and promised to send his ADC to support me to manage the logistic aspect of the swearing in ceremony and to date, I have not seen the ADC”.

He cautioned the Nigerian youth not to trust PDP because it has never for once, fulfilled the wishes of the people, and instead he urged them to join the APC for a sustainable transformational drive of Nigeria.

He noted that Nigerian politics shall be driven by the youth because they have the potential of building a strong political alliance with the APC.

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