The Value News

The Battle Of The Governors As Bandits Exchange Cows For Hard Drugs

 By Lateef Adegbite

The battle line appears to have been drawn between Nasir el-Rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, during former President Olusen Obasanjo presidency, and  now governor of the north  western state of kaduna and  Samuel Ortom, a former minister of State, Trade and Investment and now governor of the north central state Benue state.

Note thathe two governors, going by the insecurity situation in the country are facing the same problemsof heightened insecurity situation in their respective states.  While the Benue state insecurity challenge was said to have been  perpetrated by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen from Niger, TChad and other countries in the sahel region, with their Nigerian Collaborators which Ortom, in his capacity as the state Chief Security Officer, with the security operatives  are struggling to contain, el-Rufai  see it differently.

. Although what is happening in Benue state may not be different from the situation in Kaduna state which  had been  under the siege of the Bandits for years,killng and kidnapping people but el-Rufai may not have seen anything  wrong  with it.

  Even  when Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad, a  retired Brigadier General and Sultan of Sokoto, had said that the Bandits have made the north one of the worst regions to live in the country, that  may not have occurred to the Kaduna state governor that something is wrong  somewhere that needed to be fully addressed to ensure that peopel live in peace in the region. Many believe that he has singled Ortom for attack in order to win the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari, popular, PMB, and  a retired Army General that he is a true loyalist working for him.

Nasir El-Rufai: Declaes War On Orton

The Kaduna state governor had  accused Ortom of attacking, the Katsina state born Nigerian President led Federal government’’to over his own failure’’, stating  that he ‘’no longer take Ortom seriously.  He was emphatic on his dislike for the Benue state stat governor for daring the Nigerian President. Hear him: He has other issues of governance that he is using the retired Army General as a punching bag to attract attention for his failure.

The Benue state governor who could not take the attack on his person from his Kaduna state Counterpar any longert, had described him’’as one of the worst enemies of Nigeria’’ who do not hide his divisive  tendencies  ‘’elevating nepotism  and ethnicity above the good values that have held Nigeria together over the decades’’.

Describing him’’ as a sycophant, ethnic Champion and religious bigot, who hates everyone who does not share the same faith with him’’, he disclosed that the Kaduna state governor  ‘’is among   the very few persons  who have  misled Buhari’’ in the governance of this great nation, Nigeria, which has become a laughing stock in the commity of nations in the recent time.

 He noted that the former FCT minister has’’ no moral justification to talk to him because  he has ‘’failed  in several areas  as governor of Kaduna state’’, stressing that  he has  divided the  people of the home state against each another ‘’ by not hiding his hatred f indigenes  on account  of religion and ethnicity’’.

The Benue state governor had accused his traducer  of paying  armed herdsmen  whom he had invited  from other countries in the Sahel region  in the guise of stopping  attacks in southern Kaduna but had succeeded in escalating  the killings in area. He believes that el-Rufai and his Collaborators at the Federal level who  had declared war on him’’ to silence him, are doing so  in order’’ to ensure that their Conquest and expansionist agenda succeed’’.  

He appears to be mocking the Kaduna state governor hen he said that , ‘’ kidnapping has become a common crime  in the state’’.  it has been estimated   that at every given time ,not less than ‘’ 300 persons  that have been abducted in the north western state , describe as a home of the elites in the north,  have been ‘’’identified  as the governor’s kinsmen’’.  

According to the aggrieved Benue state governor, el-Rufai’’pays them  billions  of naira to embolden them to attack and kinap’’ , thus making the state one of the worst places to live in Nigeria today’’. Ortom, who could not hide his feelings was said to have taken the Kaduna state governor to cleaners on the issue  of ‘’payment of salaries  and ensure  improved  welfare for the workers which he had been opposed to  over the years.

 He cited the  Kaduna state governor’s recent sack of 4,000 workers to trim  downthe state workforce to buttress his claim, stressing that he is  an serious governor ‘’who should be ashamed of himself’’.

He may have taken advantage of the quarrel that have been initiated by the Kaduna state governor to ask him ‘’what has happened to all the electioneering Campaign promises he had made to the people of his home state in 2015 and 2019’’, noting what the people are now getting in return from him are nothing but intimidation from the Bandits and sack of the state workforce.

The Benue state governor was said to have Challenged el-Rufai  to test his popularity  by  taking the bold initiative to call for a Town Hall meeting  to see if the  Kaduna people would  pass a vote of Confidence  on him. He was said to have told him that  only recently,  the people of Benue  state met at  a stakeholders meeting  in Makurdi, the state Capital  and unanimously passed ‘’a vote of confidence on him in recognition of his performance’’.

 Ortom had said that ‘’ who is who’’ in the state had attended the meeting irrespective of the political dive including the APC Chieftains, showing that the people have brushed aside their political differences to save the state from being taken over by armed herdsmen.

He was said to have informed  el-Rufai and other people opposed to him in the Buhari Administration, that  the state government  ‘’will not repeal  the Open Grazing  Prohibition  and Ranches Establishment t Law’’,no matter the blackmail , hatred, threats and war waged on him’’. Appealing to the Kaduna state governor to leave him and Benue state alone, Ortom was said to have asked el-Rufai  ‘’ to focus  his attention in addressing  the numerous problems in his home state’’.  

In a related development,  the Channels Television , had reported  that  the Bandits  operating in the  Shinkafi Local government  Area of Zamfara state, which had been declared a ‘’no fly  zone by the retired Army General as a way  to clip their wings  ‘’ have resorted to giving out  cows in return for  dangerous Pharmaceutical drugs. The Television station had cited  pantax injection, Tramadol and several other such hard drugs ostensibly  to   enable them perpetuate the attack on Communities in the state.

Matawalle: Zanfara State Governor

 Abdullahi Shinkafi, a former  National Secretary of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA had, reportedly said that  a gunrunner had  sold over  250,000  live ammunition  in company of some security personnel  in the state.  He had confirmed that the gunrunner  who  had engaged  the services  of  thesecurity operatives  ‘’as escort ‘to deliver  ammunition  to the Bandits in the bush have been arrested.

This is  a message to other security operatives deployed to the state who play a double game in the banditry war in the north west state to watch it as Lt.General  Ibrahim Attahiru, the Chief of Arrmy Staff, COAS, and his soldiers have beamed their searchlight on them.

 An aggrieved  Shinkafi, the former APGA, Chieftain had said  that some Traditional rulers in the state are not helping matters  as they contribute ‘’ to the heightened insecurity situation in the state  by aiding  the Bandits in return for the pecuniary material gains’’.  This may have informed why he has appealed to the people of the state to support Matawalle Bello, the state governor to end the crisis .  

Stephen Ubanna

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September 2021

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