By Dankano Abdulahi
The frosty relationship between Governor Bello Muhammed of Zamfara state and his predecessor in office,Abdul-Aziz Yari raises critical points which the warring groups must note in the best interest of suffering people of the state.
The issues can be listed as follows :
1. Neither the Governor nor anyone else could have resolved the Zamfara banditry conflict within so short a period. It is a tall dream and all stakeholders should be realistic in their promises and assurances to the public;
2. The current approach to the banditry and kidnappings challenges will take time to fully yield desired results mainly because the crisis has multiple roots ,both internally and externally ;
3. All stakeholders including the governor needs to be wary of appeasement as the main tool to combat the conflict;
4. The governor is eager and passionate about putting an end to the killings and sufferings of the people.So he is ready to risk it all to attain this objective;
5. Ex-Governor Yari is aware of the legacy he left behind which to many is not in anyway enviable. He is fighting for political survival and it is unthinkable that he will embark on self -destruction by stoking further ember of violence in the state;
6. Governor Muhammed may also have to be wary of his treatment and handling of Yari and his group. Except the governor is contemplating defection to the APC, an opposition governor has limited leeway in rabble sattling politics;
7.Ex-Governor Yari may also have to re-work the political analysis of situation in the state. His mistakes as governor created a deeply divided APC with a wing actively supporting the governor or already within the state PDP. It is futile battling Governor Muhammed now especially as he remains very popular among Zamfara people;
8. For both Governor Muhammed and former Governor Yari,the battle for 2023 should be premised on cleaning up the banditry crisis.That is the only way Yari can be cleaned up and that is the only way Muhammed can also be vindicated.
9. Is it possible for Yari to collaborate with Muhammed to fight and resolve the insurgency? Can both men gain from such resolution ahead of 2023?
Beyond the above,let review the recent altercations between the two leaders.
Governor Bello Muhammad (Matawallen Maradun) had vowed to arrest and appropriately deal with his predecessor, Abdulazedz Yari should there be any future breach of the peace in the state while he is around.
“I swear, the next time Abdulazeez Yari comes to town and there is breach of the peace, I will order for his immediate arrest in the state. In fact, if need be, I will lead the arrest myself in his village of Talata-Mafara and I am not joking” , Governor Matawalle warned.
Governor Bello Muhammad observed that this was the third time there was major breach of peace only when the former Governor is on a visit to the state. ” My victory as the incumbent Governor and my success in bringing peace to Zamfara are a ordained by God. I will not allow the former Governor and his crannies to rubbish our hard earned peace in the state any more”, Matawalle said.
“Henceforth, I will show him that power is now in my hands not in his hands anymore. And we shall appropriately employ it for the benefit and protection of millions of our citizens in the state”, Governor Matawalle further said.
Governor Matawalle observed that Abdulazeez Yari has failed in his duty as a Governor where he could not secure the lives and property of the people and havi g lost his chance is now bent to ensure that this government also fails in the eyes of the people.
“To show that they planned all these, I was billed to be in Germany to share my experience with German-African Forum on peace, but I cancelled the trip because of what happened. But to my utmost surprise, their social media hawks dominated the net that I have abandoned the people at their time of need. They did not even care to know that I was still very much around with the people”, Governor Matawalle lamented.
“But we shall start regulating the online postings from our Youth henceforth. We shall order for the arrest of anyone who posts fake news on the social media about Zamfara. The situation in ZAMFARA State today, requires caution and social responsibility”, Governor Matawle further said.
The former governor however fired back ,daring the sitting governor and denying any culpability in the renewed violence in the state.
The state chapter of the All Progressive Congress addressed a press conference faulting the governor’s allegations and describing them as baseless,
In a press conference organised by the party on Saturday, its publicity secretary, Ibrahim Danmalikin Gidan Goga said, Governor Matawalle was only trying to cover his alleged inability to resolve the security situation in the state, by shiftingthe blame to the former governor.
Danmaliki maintained that the threat by the governor to arrest AA Yari by himself even without security personnel was very funny and dramatic, stressing that, “this statement is not supposed to come from him (Matawalle).”
According to Danmalikin Gidan Goga the former governor had done his best to stop banditry in the state considering the huge amount of money he spent on security during his tenure.
He, therefore, advised Governor Matawalle to concentrate on the development of the state and stop wasting his time in fighting the former governor and his supporters.
He added, “Since Matawalle assumed office six months ago, he has not been able to execute any project with a direct bearing on the people of the state.”
Danmaliki also called on the security agencies in the state, not to allow themselves to be used by the Governor against the opposition.He particularly advised the state Police Commissioner to watch his actions.
Danmaliki also stated that the former governor would not stop coming to Zamfara State whenever he wished to do so, no matter what Governor Matawalle would say or do about the visits.
He explained that the former Governor has a larger following than any other politician in the state and that was why Governor Matawalle was always scared of the large turnout of people at Yari’s house whenever he was in the state.
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