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Malam Ibrahim Wakkala was a former Deputy Governor who served under Governor Abdulazeez Yari for eight years. He was part of the group of eight (G8) who mobilized against the anointed candidate of the former governor Yari and also participated in the litigation that saw to the transfer of the 2019 election victory to the ruling people democratic party. Currently he is among the top arrow heads of the present PDP government in Zamfara and one of the beneficiaries of the political alliance entered in to with Matawalle after the Supreme Court verdict. In this Interview with Managing Editor of Thunder Blowers Online News Medium he shared his views on matters related to politics in Zamfara, his alliance with the PDP government under Matawalle, his relation with Zamfara former Governor Yarima and many other issues trending in the state.

One Year after you have been out of the government as former deputy governor, what is your assessment of life out of power?
Honestly there is no much difference between when I was in power and now. My life has not changed and even if there is  any change is simply I now have the time to be meeting people and interact with them freely.
Remember there was a time when I was in power then as Commissioner for eight years under Yarima and after I was out of the government and also comes back to the corridor of power in 2011 as Deputy Governor and now I am out. This is simply the lessons of life but like I said we are always building experience.
But for me power or no power, I have one belief, life is important only when you believe in empowering people and relating with them by giving them a full sense of belonging and continue to protect their dignity. So my life out of the corridor of powers only strengthen me to continue to build the philosophy of building and empowering people.
This government you entered in to an alliance with is one year old, what’s your assessment of its performance?
For me the government has done perfectly well and believe me based on the mutual agreement I had with him the governor has not derail for now. One most important thing which is done by this government is managing the insecurity to the level that people can now sleeps with their eyes closed. The Governor has met a security situation that has almost brought the whole economic activities of the state to a stand upper. Before the coming of this government almost every day life is being loss due to the negligence of the leadership in the state. But Alhamdulillah things are getting per better.
Apart from improving security, the governor is doing well in terms of road construction, developing education and health care system. You are a living witness to the effort he has put in place when the Covid-19 pandemic started he had invested heavily and today Zamfara state is Covid-19 free. This is different from the number of hospitals he is constructing and renovating.
Again, during this Ramadan we are all witnesses to the effort he has put in place to putting smile to the face of the people. He had increased the feeding centers, provided clothing materials to the needy and less privileged ones and also assisted the state civil servants with food stuffs to cushion the effect of the lockdown and prepare for the Sallalh festivities. This does not mean there is no room for improvement but again he has done perfectly well.
But people wonders why you will continue to work with the PDP government at the state level besides, you claimed to be a card carrying member of the APC?

Remember membership of a political party is not a religious covenant that one must adhere to strictly. I am a card carrying member of the APC and  I am still in APC but I believed the decision I have taken to support Matawalle even before the conduct of the general election is done out of some factual reasons.
Number one, I know deep to my consent that, my party the APC has no candidates at the 2019 general election because we have not conducted valid primaries and I know no matter what one will tell me about the chances of the APC returining in 2019 in Zamfara is simply a fiction of magnetic imagination so why would I waste my time. I told all my supporters to as a matter of seriousness vote for Matawalle and indeed all the PDP aspirants because I know he will have a valid chance after all the court crises. So we voted for Matawalle and all the PDP aspirants during the 2019 general elections and I have no regret for that decision.
Secondly before I take that decision, I sat down with Matawalle and agreed with him in principle that look I will support your candidature but on conditions that you will continue to support the religion, work for the people, lift them from poverty, create job for them and also provide security and lasting peace for them and told me he will do same so why can’t I support him?.
Again don’t forget, I and Matawalle have been friends for long. We have served under one government of Yarima both of us as Commissioners and under one political party APP/ANPP. And also there had been sometimes when both of us struggle to form the government but in different political parties and that did not affect our relationship. Indeed that is politics for you.
So my alliance with the PDP government in Zamfara state is purely based on mutual understanding of doing the right thing for the people and changing the lives of Zamfara people for the better and one should not wonder because politics is about people.
you thinking cross-carpeting to PDP?

Like I always tells people I am in to politics not because of my personal interest but because I have passion to developing my religion and my people. I have entered in to alliance with Bello Matawalle because of the personal consensus we have entered with him one, to sustain and improve all activities and programmes that aimed at promoting the religion and also fight poverty and unemployment. So far he has been doing that, and if he continue to sustain what he is doing why can’t I continue in the same party with him.
But to be frank with you we are in constant talk with him and believe me if things continue the way they are, he may either drag me to the PDP or I will influenced him to cross carpet to the ruling APC. But like I said we are in to discussion and we shall reach a common ground soonest.
There is an ongoing reconciliation effort between members of your political alliance G8 and faction of the former governor Abdulazeez Yari, are you also ready to take the path of reconciliation with Yari

As a Muslim, I believed in reconciliation and I believed that, in politics there is no permanent friend and no permanent enemy. I will be ready to reconcile with anybody not only former Governor Yari once that person is ready to come down to the level of being an ordinary person and he is ready to treat people with dignity.
Like I told you I am in to political alliance with Matawalle because he always respect people and treat them with dignity. He listen to people and believe every soul God has created has a role to play in every forms of engagement. So path to reconciliation with Abdulazeez and anybody is simple be humble, respect people and behave like every ordinary person once that can be found in you then what is my problem with anyone.
Are you in touch with Senator Yarima?

Since after the 2019 general elections we have not met and sit down to discuss politics. So I am not that in touch with him like we used to be before. But I think the last time he came to visit the Governor we met and greeted.
What is your Relationship with him and which party did he belong to now?
I have told you we have not being talking politics with Yarima since after the 2019 elections but as for second leg of the question regarding which party did he belongs to I think you better refer that question to Yarima he will be in better position to answer it for you. 
You have once led a reconciliation committee with the bandits during your time as deputy governor what do you think makes your reconciliation effort different from the ongoing peace accord by the Matawalle government?

To the best of my knowledge, we have handled that assignment with high sense of patriotism. When the former governor formed our committee we have reached out to all the bandit camps and we open negotiation with them based on the terms and conditions provided for by the government.
Interestingly however, our mediation has yielded positive result because as at that time, majority of the bandits agreed and surrendered their weapons and we have collected concernments of guns and ammunition. The leaders of the bandits camp even assisted us in reaching out to those who failed to honor our peace mediation and as at that time relative peace was restored because within six months since when we begins our mediation, banditry attacks have reduced to the barest minimum.  We initiated the integration of these bandits in to the larger society and I know as at that time government agreed to even sent some of the leaders of these bandits to pilgrimage and we thought all has been reconcile.
Unfortunately for us, as at the time some of these bandits were coming back from the pilgrimage, the state government has a second plan and out rightly ordered for the arrest of some of these bandits at the airport and when I inquire why the sudden decision I was not given clear explanation and as deputy governor I tried to even reach out to the security heads that was parts of us when the reconciliation was ongoing and he asked me to trade carefully that another interest has manifested.
This is how the whole problem resurface, relations of Buharin Daji the gang leaders then were arrested by the security agencies and he also mobilized and abducted people including police men and after intense lobby he get the victims released and contrary to the mutual agreement reached the government failed to released his own people and that triggered a new social unrest. As a deputy governor as at that time there is nothing I can do because I am only assign to handle a responsibility by my governor so I became helpless and this is how the whole issue comes back to square one. 
There have been trending issues with some of the policies of the present administration, example the construction of the cargo airport, new government house, twin three star hotels, and local government lodges, majority of the state citizens believed these projects are not the priority for now, do you buy in to same argument?

Actually there are varied opinions on some of the social and economic policies of the current government and whenever, the governor comes up with an issue we used to advise him on what appropriately is to be done. I personally advised him against some certain decisions especially as they relate to the cargo airport and other big capital projects he intends to do but you know we are too many and the fa
ct that, you have conceived an idea and advise the leader another argument which is stronger than your own may emerged and override your own.
Our fear as at that time, we discouraged him for going on that project is the scarcity of resources looking at the way the government was handed over to him, but as a governor he knows the capacity of his government more than we do and I believed since he has continued with the project he can do it.
But for me personally I am also of the majority opinions that, this is not the right time for these types of capital projects but he told me that, the projects are to be executed based on Private-Public Partnership and I said to him it is okay.
But to be fair to him, he always listen to advice of the people I personally believed 80% of what I advised him on issues related to the human development he implemented them. Typical example is the Ramadan feeding and provision of subsidized rice to the state civil servants.
Some people have rated the performance of the government of Bello Matawalle very low especially they used to argue that, it has made too many promises not mincing the economic realities visa-vie scarcity of resources, what is your take on that?

You see that is a wrong calculation, the government is just one year old and like I told you, the government has started with challenges, the court case, the insecurity inherited and now the Covid-19 Pandemic but I am sure things would be done rightly it is just a matter of being patient.
As for the too many promises as people used to argue, every serious minded person who found himself as a Governor must succumb to needs of his people and I am sure Governor Matawalle will deliver for his people. We need to be patient and also continue to advise the government on the right policies and right decisions to be taken.
You once chaired a committee on Ramadan feeding and there has been one step forward and one step backward in terms of actual figures expended on the 2020 Ramadan feeding programme, as chairman of the committee, how much is actually expended?

Actually I chaired the committee but the whole exercise was done in consultation with the heads of all agencies involved. I could remember one midnight the governor called me and sought for my advice on how to go about the Ramadan feeding being him the first timer. I advised him to apply the old formula and also integrate the state civil servants considering the impacts of the lockdown.
After our long conversation, the following morning, I heard an announcement that, I should chair the committee and we met hurriedly and come up with what is to be done and gave him some options. He decided to expand the whole exercise to all the 147 wards and at the end of the arithmetics, the centers were expanded to over 800. As Chairman of the committee, I only supervised the agencies in charge eg. Ministry for Religious Affairs, Directorate of Labour Matters and I told the governor to release the funds to all the agencies including the rice procured for the state civil servants directly to them.
On Ramadan feeding I think the State Commissioner for Religious Affairs is in better position to explain how much is expended for the Ramadan feeding. As for the expenses made for the rice procured and distributed for the state civil servants, the directorate of Labour Matters is in better position to explain what government has actually expended.
Are you contesting in the forthcoming 2023 general elections? If yes which post? And under which political party?.

To God almighty that spares my life to date, I don’t have the ambition of contesting for any political position in the forthcoming election and I am not yet decisive. I am in to politics like I told you to serve the people and protect my religion and if these principles are better executed under the present administration then what is the essence of me contesting?.
If matawalle should continue on this path by strengthening religion, protect the lives of the people fight poverty and reduce unemployment then why most I contest for any position. My own is to continue to support him and ginger him to do more  and like I said once my people are happy then I am fulfilled. So unless if the governor has derailed from our agreement I don’t see any reason why I shall contest but I will continue to support him.
The state government acted against the recommendations o the continuation of the state University despite the reasons adduced by your transition committee, how do you feel?.

Like I told you the governor has been acting on many of my advice and if he rejected one out of many he has accepted then what is the problem?. On this issue of State Universty Talatar-Mafara, we advised the governor to suspend it as at that time because of the level of scandals we met as at the time we were compiling our transition report. We met a scenario where a contractor was paid money for the supply of beds and mattresses even where the hostel has not being erected. We have also met a scenario where a contractor was paid money 100% f
or the supply of furniture even where the class rooms were not constructed so this is the sad story.
And again we met a scenario where admission of students was done and registration fees were paid to a University account where there is no management staff including Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Burser, so who is running the University we don’t know?.
So we advised the government that, what we met is unacceptable and that,  the government need to verify what actually trended before allowing the University to continue. We have never said the University should not continue as wrongly insinuated but we have asked the government to investigate what happens and regularize appointments before allowing the University to continue.
Again on the other news that we asked the government to suspend the University because it is located at Talatar-Mafara, I think that, idea is wrong and at committee level we have no reason to challenged the location of that University at Talatar Mafara because the governor has his own reason for taking that decision and after all Mafara is also parts of Zamfara state.
Are you satisfied with the effort of the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs in trying to support the people of Zamfara?.

To be candid with you I am not. Hajiya Sadiya Umar needs to do more to change the lives of Zamfara people. She is lucky she has been deployed to a new ministry where she will have an opportunity to recruit more Zamfara people and also has the opportunity to provide relief and assistance to the poor and vulnerable people from her state.
When I was appointed as Commissioner for Religious Affairs during Yarima as Governor, I was able to recruit more than two hundred people within few months and also employed more than one thousand people and that is how we have done to assist many families. The minister needs to do more, this is an opportunity to serve and assist her people and anytime we are able to meet I will still ask her to do more for her people.
Concerning the federal opportunities also, the minister and indeed members of the national assembly from our state need to wake up and protect what belongs to our people. During my time as deputy governor, I know we used to follow up federal appointments and that effort has secured more and countless job opportunities for our people and I believe that effort needs to be sustained.

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Daily News




Monday Editorial


It has become clearly imperative for this medium to blow the trumpet for the newly deployed Commissioner of Police Mr. Yusuf Kolo who since his deployment has helped change the security narrative about the genuine fight against armed banditry in the state.


The deployment of this experienced Police officer has no doubt assisted greatly in improving the security situation of Zamfara state especially the stellar measures he adopted which are increasing social and economic stability in the state.

Reading about his CV and the career he has built in the service of the Nigeria Police Force, it has no doubt raised the hope of the people because for sometimes now Zamfara people had been agitating for deployment of capable Police officer who is vast in terms of security management and fighting insecurity.


For sometimes now, Thunder Blowers had carefully observed that, there is effective patrol and surviellance along the major highways in Zamfara State From Gada-Biyu Round about to Bimasa the Zamfara border town with Sokoto, one may clearly understand that this fine Police officer and gentleman Mr. Yusuf Kolo is ready to deliver his best to the restoration of security architecture  in Zamfara state.

This strategy is also effective at the Gusau-Kaura-Namoda and  Gusau-Gurbin Bore border with Katsina and Gusau-Tsafe-Yankara highways respectively. Within the capital city of Gusau again, there are various check-points mounted within all the strategic positions of Gusau and criminality has really reduced to the barest minimum.


It is evident that, there is serious stop-and-search operations in all the strategic locations in the state. and the recent arrest of some miscreants involved in various criminal activities is a clear indicator that, things are getting better with the new Police Commissioner’s arrival.


It is on record that, since his  assumption in office there has never been a major armed banditry attack in Zamfara except that of Zugu which took place at the bridge of his taking-over of the mantle of leadership of the State Police Command.

His tour of the divisions and formations across the state and his interaction with the officers on Duty Posts has really risen the hope of the people of the state. More importantly, the visitation to the traditional institutions and his engagement with them which had surely manifested in his recent achievements recorded.


We were keenly apt at the manner at which the Police Commissioner is personally moving round the streets of Gusau at the dark of the night to monitor the conduct of the operations of his men. His pictures are all over the social media moving with the other galant police officers working with full force to ensure that people slept with their two  eyes closed.

Residents of  areas of Gusau and outskirts including Damba, Tsunami, Mareri and  the rest are all grateful to this visionary tactical Police officer Mr. Yusuf Kolo for his commitment to ensuring that their hearts are at rest. For instance,from Lalan  to Damba,the level of Police enforcement along that area in the night is adding to the relative stability of the people.


What inspired people more is the manner at which the Police Commissioner Mr. Yusuf Kolo has effectively but tactically engaged the Nigerian Bar Association to develop strategies on how to jointly speed up the administration of criminal justice system in the state.

Our prayer is for the Police Commissioner to passionately sustain the momentum and continue to work hand in hand with the critical stakeholders to double this commitment, It is indeed wonderful and promising if the momentum is sustained.


Our conclusion on the steawardship of Police commissioner Mr. Yusuf Kolo is that his achievements speak volumes that he is matching his  academic credentials, his experience with these practical achievements.


We at Thunder Blower wish  you all the best as your partners in the fight against crime and insecurity in Zamfara  State.

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By virtue of the reconciliation we are all part of Governor Bello Matawalle family and he needs to treat all of us with justice and fairness. It is only justice and fairness that can guarantee solidarity and peaceful political atmosphere.

Hon. Abubakar Yanware is a die-hard supporter of the former Governor of Zamfara Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar and a strong stakeholder in the ruling All Progressives Congress APC in Zamfara state.

He was among the APC aspirants that contested for the State Assembly post from Tsafe and wanted to contest the APC Primaries for 2023 elections with the current Deputy Speaker of Zamfara Hon. Musa Bawa Tsafe before the APC reconciliation dashed away the hope of  people like him.

He shared his perspectives with the Managing Editor regarding the political reconciliation in the Zamfara APC and raise his concern on matters arising and also shared his perspectives on what is to be done to ensure that the party remains strong and united.



Well, people have their own ways of assessing a political situation or rather have their different ways of reacting to a situations especially when issues involved politics and political developments but for me, there are more to see than one can understand about the Zamfara APC reconciliation.

The leaders namely former Governor Yari, Governor Matawalle and Sen. Kabiru Marafa may be entering into the peace deal with all sense of sincerity because they may want to bring an end to the lingering crises in the APC, but that may not be a true reflection of the mindset of their supporters.

And remember, they have a limit to which they can influence the same spirit into the minds of their supporters because decision-making in politics goes with the perception of the game players here I mean the party supporters.

So, the leaders of the APC in Zamfara, especially Governor Matawalle and former Governor Yari need to take time and make review of the progress recorded from the reconciliation and begin to reach out to their genuine supporters.

I will say this with clear voice our supporters from the site of Yari the former Governor still have reservations with this reconciliation arrangement within Zamfara APC and something very urgent needs to be done to save the party from collapsing.


This is the reality of the situation many people have reservation about this Zamfara APC reconciliation and our leaders need to accept this as the true reflection of what is on the ground and begin to reach out to their supporters.

I am not part of those objecting to the reconciliation and all my supporters are with the reconciliation move hundred percent because I make sure that the moment the political reconciliation was perfected by our leaders I came back home and put my house in order by appealing to my supporters to forget the differences and join hand with the former Governor Yari in the new move.

But I am telling you, many of my political status across the (14) local governments especially those from the camp of former Governor Yari can not convince their supporters to accept the peace initiative entered into by our leaders and this shall be seen as a big problem because you cannot be relying on uncertain political structure to win election.

The feedback we are receiving from the communities is that people cannot be forced to continue to accept decision in the APC without them being properly consulted and this is the exact problem with the current arrangements entered into by our leaders, and for me, their resistance is a concern that need to be addressed with all sense of urgency.


I am sure he must be aware because he has ears to the ground and I believed from the exit of strong party men like Maibuhu Gummi and rest the former Governor must understand that all is not well with the reconciliation move within his camp.

The Governor, on the other hand, must understand that Yari is facing resistance from his supporters because steps that are supposed to be taken to ensure justice and fairness to all party members were not instituted.

Former Governor Yari may not speak this out for some strategic reasons but as wings to the politics of Yari we have to say this with all sense of modesty that politicians from Yari camp need to be accommodated so that their supporters can feel a sense of belonging politically.


I think the former Governor has done his best because since when the political reconciliation started he has been taking steps to ensure that his supporters are contacted, and I know how active he has been working to ensure that sanity is restored within his camp.

I believe it is not enough because time is not on our site and campaign will soon start and there is strong need to reach out to the people because the resistance is really telling bad of our political chances.

Recently, we have lost many people to PDP, and it is not to our best interest politically and all these are happening because there are no extended consultations with the members of the party at the grassroots.

If it means the former Governor should form a committee of consultation, so be it because it is important we get this problem addressed before the main campaign started.


The Governor needs to open his government and accommodate those serious hands from the camp of Yari so that they can have a sense of belonging politically.

By virtue of the reconciliation we are all part of his family members and he needs to treat all of us with justice and fairness and it is only justice and fairness that can guarantee solidarity and peaceful political atmosphere.

We knew the Governor may be facing similar challenges from his camp also, but that is the spirit of political reconciliation because the arrangements shall be “no-winner-no loser”.

Yari camp shall be given posts of Commissioners, Special Advisers and Council Sole Administrators that is justice and if this is done many concerns coming from supporters that have made sacrifices for Yari can be addressed.

Many of my readers would be looking at my position to be too primitive, but that is the only way out. If you go to my local government Tsafe, there are many powerful political forces from Yari and even Marafa camps that are abandoned to their fate, and you think this is healthy democratically?

At least certain percentage of appointments need to be sacrificed to Yari camp so that he can be able to step into the heart of his people, but for now, the Governor had to understand that there is no magic Yari can do to bring stability into his political camp than getting his supporters accommodated.


My answer to this question may not be different from my earlier position. Let the APC leaders in Zamfara- the Governor, former Governor Yari and rest put in genuine mechanism of reconciliation and be just and fair to their followers. Anything short of this no one can predict the end result of the APC political journey in 2023.

I am saying this because I know the kind of reaction that is coming from the people, and it is only justice that can help resolve the current state of uncertainty in the APC of Zamfara.

We know there are many candidates that are more popular in their respective constituencies, but the reconciliation had dashed their hope and political chances and these candidates are left without any arrangements.

You know this is a fact that those who had the opportunity to secure the ticket were only considered for some strategic reasons of reconciliation, not because they are better than the rest in terms of their political popularity.


Neither the party nor the candidate reached out to me since after the party primaries and it was the same thing with all the other aspirants that were aged out as a result of the political reconciliation.

What I expected the party to do was to set up a genuine reconciliation mechanisms that will make people like us who invested in the development of the party have a sense of belonging.

The implications of what is happening within the APC Zamfara is that people like us will be made to move aside and be watching things as they unfold, since the party does not consider us as stakeholders that are needed to win election.

But the APC needs to know that stakeholders like us cannot be abandoned to their fates because it can constitute a political redline to to the party.

It has been the same complaint all over but I wish the party can see reason why it shall reach out to us and carry us along as critical stakeholders.

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Zamfara state Governor had deployed a powerful delegation to inspect the condition of power distribution transformer at Tsafe power station on Monday.

The delegation was headed by the State Commissioner for Health Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe, Special Adviser to Zamfara Governor on Urban and Rural Electrification (DURET), technical staff of the Directorate as well as some powerful politicians in the local government.

The Commissioners who listen to the technical brief by the Directorate officials said the Governor of Zamfara Bello Matawalle was deeply worried when he received the news of the power outage at Tsafe and instantly ordered for on the spot inspection of the power transmission station.

Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe said based on the briefing by the DURET, the transformer which is measured at 2.5 (mba) was too small for the power consumption of Tsafe town, and it’s environ.

He said hence it was suggested that the new transformer to be installed be upgraded to at least 7.5(mba) he will intimate the Governor immediately and get the commitment of the state government in making sure that the problem is addressed out rightly.

He assured that the Governor will do what is right for the people of Tsafe local government by fixing brand-new transformer of high capacity since the existing one is no longer serviceable.

Furthermore, he thanked the people of Tsafe for sustaining their loyalty to the government of Bello Matawalle and assured that the government will do all that are needed to making Tsafe people comfortable.

In a remark, the Special Adviser Directorate of Urban and Rural Electrification (DURET) Alh Muhammad Shinkafi commended the Governor for his prompt response to the plight of Tsafe people and urged them to continue to extend their support to the government.

One of the elder statesmen in the local government Samaila Mudi Tsafe commended the Governor for taking the appropriate step of responding to the complaint of power problem in the Tsafe local government area and urged him to speedily fulfilled the pledge so that citizens of Tsafe can have a sight of relief.

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