Zamfara Concerned citizens accuse Ex-Gov Matawalle of aiding banditry during his reign

A group, Concerned Citizens for Peace, Security, and Development has called on government and anti corruption commission in the country to look into the activities of the out gone governor of Zamfara state during his tenure.
According to the group,‚ÄĚ we call on security agencies and corruption commissions, to as a matter of urgency arrest, investigate, and prosecute the out gone governor of Zamfara or hand him over to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to answer for his heinous crimes against humanity. We have it on good authority; the Governor has perfected a plan to exit the country to evade arrest and prosecution as soon as President-elect Bola Tinubu is sworn into office.‚ÄĚ
The group in a statement signed by Abdullahi Sani Anka, its secretary, said since 2020, they have followed the rise and trajectory of banditry especially in the North Western part of Nigeria that comprises Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara States with a special focus on Zamfara State which has undoubtedly remained the epicentre of banditry in Nigeria.
He said: ‚ÄúWe have equally x-rayed Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle’s peace accord and its attendant achievements or otherwise since his assumption of office in 2019. In a twist of event, we have uncovered a strong collaboration between State Officials including traditional rulers and security agents with bandits
“The peace accords the outgoing Governor parades as his major achievement is nothing but a high-wired deception to divert attention from the real issue behind the root cause of banditry, its sponsors, and enablers.
“You may recall sometime in 2009, the Governor sets up a fact-finding committee on the remote and immediate causes of banditry to unravel actors, agents, and triggers of the banditry. The Committee was constituted and headed by the former Inspector General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar, other members of the committee include Sen. Saidu Dansadau, Dr. Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi among others.
“The committee has since concluded its reports and submitted same to the Governor with far-reaching recommendations including but not limited to dethroning of some indicted Emirs, District Heads, and Village Heads, other recommendations include dismissal and decommissioning of some security agents found to have aided banditry in one way or the other.
“But, the reports never saw the light of day because those indicted had allegedly threatened to expose the role of some government official in the escalation of the banditry and how he profits from it.
“The committee further recommends the setting up of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to address all forms of banditry in Zamfara State. However, three years after the submission of the reports, Governor Bello Matawalle has turned a blind eye as he neither set up a judicial commission nor implemented any of the recommendations of the MD Abubakar’s Committee Report.
The group alleged that the former governor allegedly used the peace accord to get into the good books of President Muhammadu Buhari and through an effective media suppression strategy that involves financial inducement and the instigation of transfer of journalists whose conscience cannot be bought over. The resurgence of banditry in Zamfara State is on a scale never witness before his ascension, as thousands of refugees wander in parts of Zamfara State with no one to cater for them.
Matawalle’s strategy has empowered and emboldened bandits to carry more heinous crimes against humanity in the way and manner he relates with them through regular phone calls and monetary and vehicular gifts to bandits kingpins operating in Zamfara State.
Until recently it was alleged that one of the notorious bandit’s kingpins who go by the name Bello Tagoji was allegedly housed in a 4-bedroom apartment in the Zamfara State Government House, the apartment is called Kebbi House where he dwells for about 2 years. Bello Tagoji alongside Ardon Zuru serves as the Governor’s special envoy to bandit’s kingpins.
The group alleged that during the Jangebe School girls’ abduction, Governor Matawalle through the help of Bello Tagoji and Ardon Zuru doles out over 100m to the abductors and emissaries with hundreds of bags of rice, jerry can of palm oil and groundnut oil, and other assorted food items to several bandits camps as a means of pacifying them.
The group lamented that during the regime of Governor Matawalle payment for ransom was instituted as a state policy, especially as hundreds of payments for ransom were handled through the government house and the Ministry of Security and Home Affairs..
‚ÄúIn 2019 and 2020 the Governor gifted many assorted vehicles ranging from Volkswagen golf saloons, and Sharon buses to Toyota Hilux to different bandits kingpins within and outside Zamfara State, some of the beneficiaries include Halilu, Alhaji Auta, Smally, Ali Kawaje, Dan Nigeria, Alh Shadari, Ado Aleru, Haro.‚ÄĚ The group said.

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