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Insecurity: The Cry Of The North East Governors As Matawalle Volunteers To Resign If That Will End Banditry In Zamfara state

By Suleiman Umaru

When the six north eastern states governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe met on Wednesday , Mach 3, 2021, at Bauchi, the Buauch state Capital, it was ostensibly to rub minds on the rising insecurity in the  region and the  way  out.

 He meeting which is rotated  among the governors of the region, was said to have been hosted this time around by  Bala Mohammed, a ne -time Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, are and now the governor of Bauchi state. The governors , according informed security sources wer no longer finding it funny about  the insecurity in the region caused by the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic state Of West African Province, ISWAP, insurgents  which had drien out investors  and killed agriculture in the region  which is the mainstay of their economy. The meeting may have given the governors the opportunity to collectively cry out to President Muhammadu  for help to end the escalation of the activities of the Insurgents in the region.

The governors could not understand that ‘’despite  the exploits and sacrifices  that had been made by the  Nigerianmilitary between 2009 and now, nothing appears to have changed  fueling speculations  making the rounds that there are people who are benefitting from the crisis  and thus, would not  want an  end to it.

The aggrieved north east  governors noted that ‘’the spate  of attacks  and kidnappings  in the various states in the  region, particular, Taraba, home state of Lt. Gneral Theophilous Danjuma, a one-minister of Defence in the recent tme bear  eloquent testimony to the need ‘’to rejig the security architecture currently being deployed by the government to counter the insurgents’’

This may have informed why the governors  had  pleaded with the Katsina state born Nigerian President to do everything within  his powers’’to end  the ravaging  insurgency  in the region  to enhance development’’. The governors, however, believe that one way the government  could  easily  tackle the myriad of security Challenges in the region and the country  at large  is for the Nigerian President  to consider it as a matter of necessity to seek the approval of the National Assembly  for the Creation  of state police.

Recall that Nasir El-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and now governor of Kaduna state, which had been under the constant attack of the Bandits over the last six years, had  been at the forefront  for the creation of  a state police becuause of the increasing insecurity in the state.   

Mohammed: Hosted North-East Governor’s Meeting

 It is interesting to note that the north east governors had stopped short at saying that the Authorities have failed  to tackle  the country’s insecurity Challenges,  noting  that many people  have resorted to  self- help to beat the insecurity in their various states as the government could no longer  do so.

 There is no gain saying the fact that the governors  had lost hope of the Buhari led All Progressive  Congress, APC, government  restoring normalcy in the region that they have called on the retired army General ‘’to seek the military support of the neighbouring  West African and Central African countries’’ to end insurgency in the region

Babagana Zulum, a professor and governor of Borno, a state that had produced Tukur Buatai a Lt. General, rtd, and the immediate  Chief of Army Staff, who held the office for over six years, and now a confirmed  Non Career Ambassador by the Senate,’’ came , saw but could not conquer the Insurgents’’.

Zulum, the Borno state governor ,  who had been the Champion of the government hiring mercenaries to support  the Counter-Insurgency war in the region may have taken advantage of the governors Forum in Bauchi, to push forward again his suggestion to be  adopted by the governors of the region as their position.

 Hear him: I want to use this  opportunity  to call on the Federal government  to seek  support from the neighbouring countries of Chad and Niger with a view to providing  a joint action that will look into the possibility of ending he crisis in the region. The Borno state governor who had repeatedly called on the Nigerian President ‘’to consider the possibility of employing  mercenaries believes that it is the only possible way   to bring the crisis in the region to an end since  all other options had failed.

The  Borno state governor, who incidentally was the Chairman of the north east governors Forum, had in November 2020, submitted six recommendations to the APC , led Federal  government  on how to win the war against  BokoHaram and ISWAP Insurgents which included engaging the services of mercenaries as well as the immediate recruitment of youths  to the military  to boost its strength.  The Professor  believes that the engagement of the mercenaries from Chad, Niger and Cameroon, will help to clear the remnants of the Insurgents in the Lake Chad region and the  Mandara  mountains.

In a related development, the Leadership of the Opposition PDP, may have read meaning into the Nigerian  President  declaration of Zamfara, described as the home state of the Bandits in the north west geo-political region, as a ‘’no fly zone’’ which is tantamount to a declaration of state of Emergency  as  a clever way by the ruling APC , to forcefully take over   the governance of the state’’.

The Party which had ruled the country for an interrupted 16 years with the emergence of the BokoHaram Insurgence in the north east, home region of Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the PDP, in the 2019, Presidenial elections in the country, had accused   ‘’the power –mongers  in the APC ,of plot to undermine and subvert  the democratic order in Zamfara state’’. 

The party had said that the ruling APC, had hatched out the plot  to give Nigerians the impression  that Bello Matawalle, the PDP  governor of the state was ‘’to blame  for the failure of the  ruling APC, to contain the rising insecurity in the state and the entire north west geo-political region ’’.

The Opposition PDP had said that the plot  by the APC Leadership to derail  the Matawalle Administration in Samfara state did not start in one day. The party noted that I hadt started  in 2020, after  the Supreme  Court, the highest ruling Court in the country,  handed  over the governance of the state to Matawale as the authentic winner of the 2019, governorship lection in the state.

The plot, may have heightened, according to an informed source  after Matawalle refused to bow to pressures from both official and unofficial quarters to dump the Opposition PDP and join the APC, the General’s  party and who incidentally is from Katsina, a state in the north west.

Many believe that the party leadership I the region may have piled up pressure on Matawalle o decamp to the ruling APC,  to ensure that only the APC  would be in control of the governance of the seven states in the region: Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kauna, Katsina, Kano  and Jigawa, in order to speak with one voice On  national issues.

 The six APC governors elected under platform of the APC, may have seen Matawalle as a bad influence in the region and therefore the plot to force him out of office with the support of the Federal might, political analysts had said.

The Zamfara  governor who had been under intense to throw in the towel and join the APC, may have read the handwriting on the wall  that he has volunteered ‘’to resign to ensure that there is peace  in the state.  Appearing on  Channels , a non-partisan  private Television station, Matawalle, had  said that  he is intimidated  by the Nigerian President ‘s declaration  of a ‘’no- fly zone in Zamfara’’.

In an emotional outburst , he had said, ‘’ I am ready to accept any solution that will bring security in the state’’, noting that if it requires his resignation he will not hesitate to do so. He may have told those that cares to listen that he is not intimidated by the retired army General declaration of no- fly zone in his home state, Zamfara as he is not power-hungry.

An aggrieved Matawalle had said that his resignation from office will give him a moment of rest, stressing that he has  never had a good sleep, since he won the victory at the Supreme Court as the duly elected governor of the sworn in in 2020 and sworn in by the state Chief Judge.  Matawalle’s major worry was that only his state was single out for the n-fly zone restriction order by the Buhari government, an indication that it was a policy taken in bad faith as he was never consulted.

Matawalle: Governor Of Zamfara State, Offers To Resign

He may have spoken the mind of  the PDP  leadership when he said that the flight ban ought to have been  extended to Kaduna and Katsina, and Niger, home  home state of former military President Ibrahim Babangida, a retired  army General that are also experiencing the same security  Challenges faced in Zamfara.

But given an insider information on why the government took the decision to make Zamfara a no-fly zone , Babaga Munguno, a retired Major General and National Security Adviser , NSA, who incidentally  is from Borno, a state in the north east geo-political region disclosed that  ‘’it was  part of the government  efforts  to tackle the security Challenges in the state’’, an indication that Matawalle, has failed as the governor of the state       

Stephen Ubanna

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