Connect with us

Opinion

The many conspiracy theories against Matawalle

Published

on

Spread the love

The many conspiracy theories against Matawalle

By YUSUF IDRIS GUSAU

Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Bello Mohammed Matawalle is in the news again for the wrong reason. But this does not come as a surprise to many observers who have been monitoring events in the state.

Conspiracy theorists have consistently ensured that Matawalle is in the news for daring the status quo and changing the rhythms of things in the state. And his traducers are understandably angry that Mutawalle has succeeded in persuading the erstwhile die-hard bandits to lay down their arms and denounced their once thriving vocation. They won’t be happy that the governor is turning the tide against insecurity – and them – that has put the state on the discredit list.

Beyond reaching out to the bandits to renounce their activities and embrace peace, the governor had put in place different security measures aimed at tackling the menace. Among such measures were the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) for security agencies, installation of CCTV cameras for security surveillance in the state capital and some local government areas; provision of land for the establishment of an airstrip for covert operation by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the facilitation of establishment of two mobile police units in the state, among other interventions.

But most importantly is the constitution of a high-powered security committee under the chairmanship of former IGP MD Abubakar to find a lasting solution to the problem. The committee has submitted its report and only last week the governor inaugurated a judicial commission of inquiry under the leadership of former Chief Judge of Katsina State, Justice Yusuf Abdullahi to implement the outcome. It’s however surprising that on one hand, anti-Matawalle stories are beginning to emerge at a time the commission of inquiry is about to commence its all important task. And on the other hand, we are not surprise because they have since shown their antics to be anti-people and diabolical.

The consolation however, is that truth always finds its way out no matter the attempt to suppress it and like the legendary Sardauna of Sokoto’s most celebrated quotes said, “conscience is an open wound and only truth can heal it”. This is why Matawalle would come out triumphant with his name written in the iron cast of history that no amount of rain and wind storm can obliterate.

Within the last few days, online media like the discredited Sahara Reporters and an obscure platform, Analyzer have been doing the hatchet job with the same story line. Their stories quoted two sources, one a military and the other a former local government chairman with both alleging that repentant bandits were using military grade Hilux vehicles to attack villages with the backing of the governor.

In analyzing the two stories, observers are likely to point at many of the flaws and apparent lack of recourse to professionalism exhibited. The Sahara Reporters quoted a military source who spoke on “condition of anonymity” . The recourse to anonymous sources put the credibility of the story in itself to question. It is important to point out that many reporters hide behind anonymous sources to peddle lies in largely unsubstantiated reports and these two stories bear such tell-tale signs.

It is important to note that the military, like any organized institution, operates based on hierarchy and they are personnel within certain ranks and training appointed as spokespersons. The unnamed Sahara Reporters sources therefore are not appointed to speak on behalf of the military and cannot therefore represent them. And come to think of it, why did the reporter fail to take the story a notch higher by asking the relevant questions that could have further enriched his story like where were the Hilux vans donated to the military by Matawalle to help tackle insecurity in the state and whether the said vehicle purportedly abandoned by the so called bandits may belong to the military.

It is still evergreen in public knowledge that Matawalle in July 2020, donated 200 operational vehicles to security agencies to help fight crime in the state. The presentation of those vehicles was done in public with heads of various security agencies present. Why did the reporter fail to mention this all important occasion in his story even as a tie-back to show that not only the state government officials use Hilux vans? What is more, why did the reporter fail to verify from his military sources whether the said vehicle bears the state government’s plate number which is an important detail that might give out the owner of the vehicle? So many loopholes in the story you may say. Even the fact that security agencies were fingered in the past to have aided banditry and even insurgency operation in the past was not enough clue for the reporter to be weary of the kind of sources whose story he would buy hook-line and sinker.

However, the apparent flaws in the story further expose the antics of those who have been benefiting from the insecurity that the state and its people have to endure over time. And such elements are many as they are powerful with armies of foot soldiers dressed in various garbs. The fight against the menace by Matawalle has consumed many traditional rulers, government officials and others who are within the state’s control including a former emir of Maru and many district heads. However, the rush for Zamfara gold which was said to have given birth to banditry has the backing of powerful personalities across all strata who are largely beyond the reach of Matawalle. These elements have been fighting back through their foot soldiers using all means, but whether they will succeed remains to be seen.

YUSUF IDRIS GUSAU is the Director General, Media Public Enlightenment and Communications, Government House, Gusau.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

Yinka Odumakin: The Exit Of A Convinced Humanist

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Yinka Odumakin: The Exit Of A Convinced Humanist

By Rauf Aregbesola

The circumstance of his demise were quite unusual. Though a picture he took with Papa Ayo Adebanjo, indicating he was not in the best shape of health had appeared on the internet not quite long ago; still, it caught us by surprise. The human mind has the incredible capacity to suppress morbid suggestions on loved ones, bordering on denial. But now, as the dust is settling and the tears are drying, we are beginning to reconcile to the fact that Yinka Odumakin is gone.

February 20, earlier this year, was the last time I had a telephone conversation with him. He was his natural self. He could be vivacious when excited and could also be dead sober, if the matter requires it. I never had any premonition it would be our last conversation.

Odumakin straddled the political spectrum, breaking into public consciousness as a students union activist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, then practiced journalism at The Punch newspaper; was also part the struggles for military disengagement and deannulment of June 12, 1993 Presidential election won by Chief Moshood Abiola. In the post military era, Yinka retained his public presence with his participation in the politics of AD, AC, ACN, CPC and reportedly flirted with former President Goodluck Jonathan. He later consolidated his activism in Yoruba nationalism, being a highly visible spokesperson of Afenifere. He was a tenacious advocate of his convictions; never gave up on whatever he believed in, regardless of the opposition.

How did we meet? Yinka Odumakin and Bunmi Omoshehindemi walked into my office as the CGS of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation office at Sunday Adigun St., Alausa Ikeja. It was in November of 1998.

Both came to declare support for the candidacy of Bola Tinubu unequivocally. This was in defiant opposition to those then opposed to any form of accommodation for democratic building process without a clear resolution of the June 12 imbroglio. This was a courageous step, then considering that their position would have been considered anathema by the movement. We had since then built a robust relationship, sometimes very smooth and at times frosty, but all the time remarkable till his translation on Friday, April 2, 2021.

I said we had a remarkable relationship because Yinka was consistent in standing up to fight for democracy, federalism, justice and rule of law. These to me are the factors for defining the dignity of man. Whoever has this commitment is an ally and a humanist.

Yinka has had to publicly criticise me a couple of times, especially when I was governor in Osun, our relationship notwithstanding. I took it in good faith, as it never affected our relationship. His criticisms were consistent with his convictions on what constitute public interest.

I am therefore proud to have known, interacted and worked with a humanist that doggedly fought for the dignity of people.

Yinka Odumakin, you will wake up to joyful activities on the other side. May the good Lord support your wife, family and friends. Ameen.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is Minister of Interior, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Continue Reading

Opinion

Nigeria: These Terrible Times and Lessons of Easter

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Nigeria: These Terrible Times and Lessons of Easter

Easter Message of YOWICAN President

This Easter, I want us all to think about the unconditional love that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, had for us to the extent that He gave His life for our salvation.

His resurrection by God. What a lesson for young people of Nigeria and of what sacrifice can this achieve and the benefits it can bring to mankind generally and individually!

This Easter, I call on all, whether Christian or Muslim, to emulate Christ and sacrifice something for your nation, for your families and for yourselves. The young people are the change agents, let us not ask ourselves who will change our nation for the better. You and I are the ones that will cause the desired change our nation needs. Change begins with you and I. Young people of Nigeria, look in the mirror and ask how we can change our nation for better.

As agents of change, the youth should be wise enough to know what is good and bad before the law and in the sight of God. Avoid being used by politicians for thuggery; reject being enlisted into the Army of bandits, kidnappers and Boko Haram. But accept to be enlisted into God’s Army. From all what are going on in different parts of the country, it is obvious that Nigerians have declared war against themselves.

How did the weapons find themselves into private hands? Although the government has tried, the best option is to embark on a mission to mop up all the arms and weapon in circulation. While we oppose amnesty and rehabilitation of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents, we will be wrong thinking that they will turn a new leaf. That will be encouraging blackmail and putting the lives of the defenceless citizens before firing squad.

Let us emulate Christ and have a change of heart. Turn from evil ways to good. Let this Easter be the beginning of a positive change in our nation, Africa and the world at large. I join other well-meaning Christian faithful all over the world to thank God for giving us all the grace to witness this year’s Easter celebration.

As we commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I enjoin us all to imbibe the spirit of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, perseverance and tolerance that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ taught us.

ISHIELU KILLINGS And EFFIUM/EZZA EFFIUM CRISIS

•YOWICAN condemns and frowns seriously at the intra-communal war between Ezza-Effium and Effium clans in Ohaukwu Local Government of Ebonyi State and the killing of over 16 persons aged between 18 and 56 in Obeagu community in Ishielu LGA by suspected Fulani herdsmen. We demand justice for the victims in both crises. It is surprising that brothers in Ezza-Effium and Effium clans have declared war on themselves the end of which nobody can predict.

•We also condemn the assassination attempt on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo in which three police orderlies were killed ahead of the governorship election in Anambra State scheduled for November 6. These are not acceptable to Nigerians. All these threats to life must stop, we must live together as one Nigeria.

I extend my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. Dave Umahi and the various families that lost their loved ones. during this heartless killing. Same for Soludo and for Governor Ortom, we are with you in prayers.

Happy Easter to you all

Sign:

Belusochukwu Enwere
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria Youth Wing (YOWICAN)
April 4 2021

ENDS***

Continue Reading

Opinion

AZUKA OKWUOSA: YESTERDAY’S GODSON IN TODAY’S GOVERNORSHIP RACE WITH HIS GODFATHERS

Published

on

By

Spread the love

AZUKA OKWUOSA: YESTERDAY’S GODSON IN TODAY’S GOVERNORSHIP RACE WITH HIS GODFATHERS

Anambra State is eight months away from a governorship election, many are hoping will take the state to the next level. The people want nothing but the best because it is the only way the state can get to the desired next level. Therefore, the best for the state cannot be a neophyte, a learner. The state urgently needs purpose driven administration, led by someone with huge and wide political experience. At the point where the state is now, it cannot afford to have a school boy governor, who would become governor first and then begin to learn how to be a political administrator. Anambra State Government House is not a political science class. Our next governor should be an accomplished politician, with accomplished record of national political experience.

The best for the state in the year 2021 cannot be another godson, a puppet foisted upon us and held on a leech by a godfather or godfathers. Anambra will no longer follow someone who is following someone else. Our next governor will be his own man and will be fully responsible for his actions as governor. The mere thought of godfathers in Anambra again conjures a horrific picture. Ndi Anambra can still recall clearly the chaos, impunity, retrogression and ridicule the godfather cult subjected the state to. We are still healing from that combined assault of renegades on our infrastructures and therefore, any aspirant in the Anambra governorship race who is found out to be funded by a godfather or godfathers should be treated as an “abomination” waiting to happen and must not be allowed to happen.

Our best in this year’s election is someone with forward approach to modernization, collective development and general welfare. The worst are those who can only point backwards to yesterday to recall whatever good they once nurtured. Yesterday was and will remain a terrible tragedy for ndi Anambra. However and courageously, we have moved on in search for a better state and any reminder of yesterday’s woes will be seen as insult, which we will reward with absolute rejection. Lewis Carroll had said, “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” We are no longer who we were yesterday, when every man Friday toyed with our state and with our lives.

For the above reasons I believe that one of the aspirants in the Anambra governorship race, on the platform of the APC, Sir Azuka Okwuosa, is in the race for the worst reasons ever. The political experience he touts falls far below what is required of an Anambra governor today. He was a former Chairman of old Nnewi LGA and former Commissioner for Works in Chinwoke Mbadinuju’s failed administration, that did not as much as construct one standard road in the entire state, and that was under Azuka Okwuosa’s watch. In Nigeria, where astute knowledge of political dynamics and strategies for concessions and compromises have become State crafts, Anambra State needs a governor with national political experience, extensive clout and formidable contacts, rather than Okwuosa’s testimonial of yesterday’s mediocrity.

Addressing a gathering of party faithfuls in his Oraifite home recently, he told them with misplaced pride, that he is confident in his aspiration because he has the backing of his billionaire younger brother, Dr. Emeka Okwuosa, the Chairman of Oilserve Group and also the backing of Sir Emeka Offor, who for obvious reasons does not need introduction. These two moneybags according to Okwuosa, are funding his aspiration. This confession which is threatening to take Anambra back to
Egypt, has exposed Okwuosa as an abomination waiting to happen, and it behoves all APC delegates, for the love of our state, to stamp out this fledgling godfatherism before it takes root again. Please remember Mbadinuju and Ngige and how godfathers crippled their administrations and rubbished our state. One godfather was horrifying enough but two godfathers, with competing and conflicting interests are impending catastrophe of monumental proportions and must not be allowed to happen again.

Then Okwuosa dropped the bomb that clearly showed him as yesterday’s man, living in yesterday’s world with only yesterday’s memories. He told his dumbfounded audience, that as Commissioner for Works in 1999, he awarded a road contract that is yet unexecuted and that when he becomes governor in 2022, he will re award the contract. When I heard this story I shed tears for Anambra State because perchance, this lethargic politician could become our next governor.

In 22 years he didn’t call attention to the road or criticized past administrations for abandoning the project. He did not consider prosecuting the contractor who collected the contract money and absconded. He didn’t tell his audience his role in the scam and what efforts he put in to ensure the contractor’s full compliance with the terms of the contract. Now he wants to be elected governor in 2021 so that he will re award the contract for a rural road he abandoned 22 years ago.

What simple mindedness when others are planning for skyscrapers, hanging bridges, real airports, integrated water schemes and critical rural development. Thank God, we are no longer who we were in 1999. We were a different people then. This is 2021 and Azuka Okwuosa’s ambition of taking us back to yesterday tells a loud story of his lack of relevant experience to be Anambra’s next governor. Moreover, his baggages of godfathers marks him out as the next worst thing that will happen to Anambra State.

Okosisi Nnamdi Iloduba.

Continue Reading

Trending