Sagir Ibrahim Gusau
I have read the article by Sahara Reporters about the arrest of former Minister of Communication Ikira Aliyu Bilbis and for me the article is not only a reflection of “symbolic folktales” but a mischievous attempt to muscle the fact in order to attract public sympathy.
I will say boldly clear that in the first instance, the Governor of Zamfara is neither the police IGP, Commissioner nor the IPO empowered by law to arrest, investigate and prosecute people with criminal allegations. It will be very unfair to link him with the action of the police who are carrying out their legitimate duties”.
Ikira Aliyu Bilbis the former Minister of Communication was arrested over alleged connection with aiding and abetting political thuggery.
This allegation was made prominent by the suspected political thugs arrested by the Zamfara State standing committee on Anti-Thuggery headed by Bello Bakyasuwa.
They have also made confessional statements linking their ordeal to the former Minister so what is wrong in suing him by the police on behalf of the state for him to defend himself?.
The Chairman of the Anti-Thuggery Bello Bakyasuwa has paraded the suspected thugs before the press and they have made different confessional statements and from their different confessions it seems the former Minister has some questions to answer so what is wrong in given him the right to self defence over allegations labelled against him?
It was on record that these thugs were carrying deadly weapons and these weapons were displayed before the whole world including a campaign truck branded in the name of one of the PDP legislative candidate during the press conference by Bello Bakyasuwa.
In order to cover their shoddy deal, they even attempted to induced Bello Bakyasuwa the Chairman of the Anti-Thuggery committee with money but he declined. Bakyasuwa stated this during one of his interview with Thunder Blowers an online media platform.
And based on the investigation conducted by the committee on Anti-Thuggery they handed over their findings to the police and the police became convinced that Ikira Bilbis has a case to answer in court and police charged him to Court then what is the crime of Governor Bello Matawalle here?.
Is this for setting up the Anti-Thuggery committee with the intention of making sure that political campaigns are conducted without any forms of rascality?
Or is this for refusing to interfare with the job of the police who believed anybody who instigated an act of breach of peace is made to face justice?
So for me PDP and indeed Sahara Reporters are only trying to be mischief for linking Matawalle with what he has no hand in.
Secondly, coming back to the legality of the campaign rally conducted by the PDP gubernatorial candidate Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare which resulted to all this political brauhaha, I think the current judgement of the Federal High Court Gusau which is still enforce has barred him from parading himself as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in Zamfara State.
Secondly Thunder Blowers Multimedia Services in it’s Sunday Editorial has highlighted in a very clear voice the illegality of the campaign rally to be conducted by the PDP gubernatorial candidate basing their arguments on the highlight of the multiple judgments by both the lower court in Gusau and appellate court in Sokoto
For me the development in Zamfara with all sense of honesty is triggered by the desperate move of the PDP to enforce their desperate thirsty for power at all means against 2023 general election.
This argument is visible because since from the first instance, the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP knew very well that by status, he cannot do or act in his usual capacity as governorship candidate because the court has barred him from doing that hence the first and second primary elections that produces him as the gubernatorial candidate were annulled.
The first primary election conducted on the 25th of May 2022 was nullified by Justice Aminu Bappa led Federal High Court Gusau.
He graciously conceded to the judgement and went for second primary election which was also nullified by the same Federal High Court Gusau on the ground of electoral irregularities.
The same gubernatorial candidate out of abuse of court process filed an appeal in Sokoto challenging the same judgement he conceded and the panel of judges in their own wisdom strike out the appeal referring to it as “mere academic exercise”.
The same day he got his appeal stroked, he filed a notice of “stay of execution” of the second judgement before the Sokoto Court of Appeal again and up to this moment I am writing, the defence team was not served with the notice of the appeal alleged to be filed.
And because the PDP gubernatorial candidate is allegedly not advised appropriately he had wasted much of his time filing a “motion of stay” instead of concentrating on the appeal of either the second Federal High Court judgement or move to Supreme Court to seek for judicial consideration if at all he can be considered.
Or may be he was clearly informed that the new practice direction of the Court of Appeal has barred courts of appeal from issuing “order of stay either on pre-election or election petition” he opted to create an illegal political rally to attract public sympathy.
The rally conducted by the PDP candidate as argued by the Thunder Blowers is illegal because the judgment of the lower court which barred the PDP from having a gubernatorial candidate for the 2023 election has not been set aside by the upper court of competent jurisdiction.
Now coming back to the violent approach used by some of the PDP supporters, it is disheartening that despite the fact that the leaders of the party knew that their action is illegal they cannot cautioned their followers from using violent means to instigate fear and confusion among the public.
There are multiple evidences that, the PDP supporters crashed many campaign billboards, destroy campaign offices and also forced many innocent people looking for what to earned and sustained a living to shutdown their business premises and leave due to the fear of the unknown.
Innocent commuters plying the road were also made to join the political convoy and were unnecessarily forced on the hold for hours simply because of lack of concern for their right of movement.
It is my expectations that on the premise of this ugly development, the Anti-Thuggery committee in collaboration with other security out fits especially the police “apply the rule where it is due” to make sure that justice is done and rule of law is followed.
Coming back to their insinuation that Governor Matawalle is scared of losing election. It is apparent that Sahara reporters is not following the political development in Zamfara State because they should have understand that APC is a stand alone party for now.
The same PDP by virtue of the Federal High Court Gusau judgement which is still enforce has crashed the party from it’s entire hope of participating in the governorship election of Zamfara and by the special grace of God almighty that judgment stands!!.
So Matawalle and APC fears no one in Zamfara because the Governor has applied one strategy out of many to return the PDP gubernatorial candidate back to the secondary school class room for him to learn the basic rudiments of the science of politics.
More worrisome is the attitude exhibited by some of the PDP supporters at the court premises. It was unfortunate that the blind PDP supporters had to resort to embarking on protest at the premises of Upper Shariah Court Shariah Court at Anguwar Yarima simply because the former Minister has been arraigned.
The attitude demonstrated had clearly embarrassed the state and portray us as people who does not under the civility in democratic engagement.
If our courts cannot be secured then what does the PDP mean? This is a question that required one million answer!!.
As for the constitution of the standing committee on Anti-Thuggery people like us do not understand the wisdom behind what Matawalle did till when I read a press released by Governor Babagana Umara Zulum today the 1st of December 2022 over the act of political thuggery in Borno state as instigated by the same PDP he said:
“I have received reports on renewed acts of political violence in the state. I strongly condemn these extremely unnecessary acts of violence and hereby direct the Commissioner of Police and the DSS to immediately investigate and ensure anyone involved is made to face the full wrath of the law.”
“I am directing heads of security agencies under the Borno State security council to immediately convene a meeting with critical representatives of all major political parties, particularly the APC and PDP, get them to sign undertakings and strikingly warn against all acts of violence with punitive measures rolled out for any culprit, especially politicians who might be instigating violence, no matter how highly placed they might be.”
“In the meantime, I strongly urge supporters of all political parties not to disseminate false statements that can insight violence. We should endeavor to promote peace”.
“I have always been against political thuggery and for us in Borno State, we have seen enough of violence from our over 12 years of insurgency. Instigating political violence is simply being ungrateful to Allah for the peace He is granting us after over 12 years of prayers for His divine intervention. Many soldiers, policemen, personnel of the DSS and paramilitary as well as our volunteers in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes have given their lives in battles and many are still in the front lines, towards full restoration of peace in Borno State. Insha’Allah, we will not allow anyone reverse the supreme sacrifices of our armed forces and volunteers.”
This mean Governor Bello Matawalle has for long distance seen this tragedy coming and he tried to institutionalized measures of getting this act of inhumanity addressed.
In general note, I think the PDP and indeed Sahara reporters should learned to say the truth and report events as they unfold.
It will be unprofessional to be telling stories not the way the occurred because it will resulted to misleading others especially those that will be reading the narrative about Zamfara from the per distance.
The fact remains that PDP has lost it this time around and for 2023 it is a “road closed” because the rule of law has taken it’s precedence and Ii think the political actors within the PDP are thought the bitter lessons of their lives.