Zamfara Insecurity: Leave Matawalle alone, face governance, group tells Gov. Dauda Lawal

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By Lanre Oloyede

Youth group under the auspices of Arewa Youth For Peace and Security has described as false and malicious, a report by an online medium alleging that the Hon. Minister of Defence for State and immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Dr Bello Matawalle “distributed foodstuffs” to bandits terrorizing Zamfara State led by Ado Aliero.

In a statement issued over the weekend by the group’s President, Comrade Abubakar Hassan Kankia, the group attributed the publication to the handiwork of the political enemies of the Minister.

The group stated that since Dr Matawalle was appointed Minister of Defence for State, he has been working tirelessly with the office of the National Security Adviser, service chiefs and Northern States Governors in finding solutions and ending insecurity in Zamfara State in particular and the nation in general.

The statement read in parts:

“For the avoidance of doubt, since Dr Matawalle was appointed Minister of Defence for State, he has been working tirelessly with the office of the National Security Adviser, service chiefs and Northern States Governors in finding solutions and ending insecurity in Zamfara State in particular and the nation in general.

“Previously Funtua to Gusau highway was a deathtrap where bandits kill and abducted people for ransom daily. The Minister directed immediate deployment of military personnel and checkpoints along the highway making it safe and secure for road users. The same is applicable on Dambaza to Maradum town where bandits used to kill and kidnapped innocent people for ransom. Matawalle equally directed immediate deployment of military personnel and checkpoints that have made the highway safe for travelers.

“It could be recalled that armed bandits attacked Zurmi Local Government headquarters, burnt down the police station, killed police officers, destroyed military operational vehicles and kidnapped innocent citizens. The Honourable Minister of Defence for State in his characteristic patriotism and pragmatism deployed more military personnel to crush the bandits. The military operation recorded tremendous success. Several armed bandits were neutralized and the area is now safe and secure as the people go about their lawful business without fear of bandits’ attacks.

“Equally, when students of the Federal University of Gusau were abducted by bandits, Matawalle, a compassionate leader, quickly directed the deployment of soldiers and Air Force fighter jets to rescue them. To the glory of God, most of students and construction workers abducted with them were rescued unharmed.

“It is unfortunate that Governor Lawal who used insecurity in Zamfara State as propaganda to misled the people during his campaign that he would restore security within his 100 days in office has now abandoned the people to their fate while he junkets across the globe leaving his constitutional duties of providing security and delivery of democracy dividends to citizens.

“As a face saving device, Lawal is busy squandering public funds, sponsoring mischievous, fabricated and concocted lies against Matawalle to gain cheap publicity and sympathy from Zamfara people.

“Governor Lawal is confused, his clueless administration contributed to the current rise of insecurity in Zamfara State. It is heartbreaking watching video clips on social media where bandits praised him as the state has become a safe haven for them. These terrorists now want Lawal to remain in power beyond his tenure as they operate unchallenged.

“Matawalle should be allowed to carry out his duties as the Minister of Defence for State in tackling insecurity in Nigeria and make the country safe, secure and peaceful for all citizens and foreigners, a cardinal objective of the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu administration. No amount of blackmail will distract, deter and dissuade him from fighting terrorism, insurgency, banditry and kidnapping in Nigeria, and bring the perpetrators to face the full weight of the law.”