Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle came to power at a time Zamfara state was fast dying from the worst indices of poverty and underdevelopment. The poverty level was biting so hard that even people in other parts of Nigeria were lamenting bitterly. If you looked at the level of joblessness in Zamfara state before the 2019 elections, you could not help but cry.
In such an atmosphere of multiple tragedies, the people of Zamfara were also badly hit by insecurity. A weak leader like Abdulazeez Yari openly declared that he had surrendered his position of chief security officer of the state. Shameful! This had made the poor people of Zamfara not just angry with Governor Yari but also lost hope in his administration.
Outside Zamfara, people were asking all sorts of questions, like “Is there really a governor in Zamfara at all?” This question became even louder when it was discovered that Governor Yari was either in Abuja hanging around the Villa and leaving his people unattended or traveling around the world too frequently. In the process, he lost touch with people at all levels, especially the grassroots. Even the elite were wondering what kind of government Yari was running.
The governor never visited communities that were attacked by bandits, to commiserate with the victims’ families or give them succour. He never gave enough attention to things that could even make the masses happy. Worst of all? He was not even available to hear their loud cries for help. It was once said the governor was running his government from his home village, where office files were moved from Government House Gusau, to Mafara, his home village. Sad.
The clever Zamfara state voters waited patiently and in pains till election day. With unlimited cash at his disposal, security apparatus and political jobbers, he thought he could make it back to power through the backdoor, using an inexperienced loyalist as his successor.
The voters spoke loudly with their votes for Matawalle. And soon after his inauguration as governor, Matawalle delayed no action in returning workers that were massively and deliberately sacked by the Yari administration. He raised money from sources, even outside the system to clear huge debt of unpaid salaries.
He provided capital for jobless young men and women, appointed intelligent people into his cabinet and traveled to some Asian countries to build business connections to help breathe life into the state’s empty treasury that he inherited. He set up special panels to recover Zamfara masses’ money stolen through dubious contracts.
Now, the defeated former governor still has difficulty coming to terms with the reality of losing an election in which he expected landslide victory. He finds his defeat unacceptable and has resorted to childish behaviors like printing an “official” letterhead bearing “former governor”. This is the first time in the political history of Nigeria that a former governor would be so infantile.
Back to the issue of what is at stake. Former governor Yari is ganging up with people who have norhing to contribute to incumbent Matawalle administration. These are people whose love for Zamfara does not go beyond their pockets. Yari is going about with half-educated young men who don’t even care about their future or the revival of Zamfara state. These days he was available at all APC gatherings in Gusau, in the desperation for political relevance. In his myopic thinking, he is the best thing to have ever happened to Zamfara. That is ridiculous.
Take it or leave it, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari and his collaborators in the gang-up against Governor Matawalle will eventually be shamed. This is clear because Matawalle has solved the many problems that Yari could not effectively and efficiently handle. Unlike Yari, Matawalle is eveready to make sacrifices, including the use of his personal resources to attack poverty in Zamfara. This PDP governor is a responsible leader because he has given more than enough attention to empowerment of youth and women from poor homes. I was recently told that he has placed some indigent people under special monthly allowance to reduce the pangs of hunger and poverty.
Giving his unbeatable style of modern governance and economic revolution in Zamfara, it should not be difficult to see that Matawalle has performed wonderfully. We no longer read the bad news of underdevelopment and mass poverty in the state. Everything is moving so fast for Matawalle and his government that the gang-up by his predecessor is slowly collapsing. This PDP governor has little time for political fights but more time in the service of the people. Those ganging up against experienced leader like Matawalle will definitely find out sooner than later, that they have started what they cannot finish.
Therefore, the use of names like Musa Gusau to attack Governor Matawalle on the pages of a few Nigerian newspapers will collapse like a pack of cards. Truth is that no matter how much dirty and defeatist approach Yari and his political gang members adopt, it will change nothing. Matawalle is already busy working to bring back the lost glory of Zamfara state following the years of mis-governance under Alhaji Yari. May God help him succeed in his open, honest mission to rescue the state.