By Abdukadir Sulaiman
GOVERNOR Bello Muhammed Matawalle of Zamfara State has been a subject of sustained media onslaught which reveals mischief and malicious intent.
The reckless accusation by the Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, that a PDP governor of a North Western state is responsible and sponsoring insecurity in the region is obviously the first of the many orchestrated attacks on Governor Matawalle.
Then came another attack through a publication by Sahara Reporters that an unnamed General claimed “bandits were carrying out their attacks with Hilux vehicles given to them by the governor of Zamfara State.
This was soon followed by another round of accusations by the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and a senator from the state, Senator Uba Sani, where they both blamed the approach of Governor Matawalle for the sustenance of banditry in North West Zone.
It is curious that this is coming from a Nasir El-Rufai who, in 2016, claimed he went after Fulani herdsmen to stop killings in Southern Kaduna.
It is also hypocritical for these two persons to criticise Governor Matawalle and not criticise President Muhammadu Buhari for his “Operation Safe Corridor” which is the purported deradicalisation programmes for Boko Haram fighters. These are the same set of people APC chieftains are clamouring for scholarship and foreign education for, while children of fallen soldiers in the ongoing war on insurgency are not granted scholarship to study at Army Day Children Schools.
The recent attack was the deliberate misinformation by a former State House correspondent who did not quote the governor out of context, but lied against the governor in a report which is now widely syndicated that he (Matawalle) said “not all bandits are criminals”.
It is on record that what Governor Matawalle said while addressing a group of correspondents was “not all Fulani are criminals” and this is sensible enough in the face of the mass profiling of all Northerners as Fulani and all Fulani as killer herdsmen. Records have it that Nasir Ayitogo is no more at the State House and this account must be a figment of his imagination.
It is pertinent to note that there is an obvious hunt for Governor Matawalle in a bid to discredit him and create a bad perception about him among Nigerians.
Nigerians should disregard this campaign of calumny which is the handiwork of the former governor, Abdulaziz Yari, who is doing everything he can to destabilise the current administration, especially in its quest to expose the monumental graft allegedly perpetuated under his watch.
This is nothing but a desperate attempt from the camp of Abdulaziz Yari to divert attention from him. This has further corroborated the assertion that the sponsors of this mischief and wickedness are those who are yet to come to the reality that Zamfara is no longer at their whims and caprices.
Zamfara is on the path into a new dawn and no amount of hatchet job can derail this noble course.