Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, has reacted to allegations concerning his tenure as governor of the state.
The allegations border on alleged mismanagement of resources, heavy debts and non-payment of examination and school fees for students at home and abroad, among others.
In an interview with journalists in Abuja, the Minister opined that the Zamfara State Govover, Dauda Lawal, is not ready for governance, stressing that none of the past governors of the state have attempted to tarnish the image of their predecessor.
Matawalle urged Dauda to stop pushing blame and remember he was elected to tackle issues of insecurity, terrorism and banditry in the state, adding he would not respond to the governor again as the Northern Elders Forum and the Police had advised him not to.
He said, “I think the man is not ready for governance. He’s always shifting blame instead of him to concentrate and make sure that he delivers dividends of democracy to the people of Zamfara.
“He only engages in fighting, looking back at what happened long ago; how many governors have governed the state? four or five of us. Over the years, none of them has looked back and tried to rubbish their predecessor, but this one, instead of him to concentrate on the issue of security, he is playing blame games.
“When students of Gusau University were kidnapped, Mr President mandated all of us, all the security agencies, to go to the place and console the people of the state and the parents.
“He wasn’t in the state. He was away. He was not in Nigeria. We called him, but he did not respond. We had to go through a third party before we got his phone number and we called him.
“He pleaded with the Minister here, that he was away but that once he comes, he would tell us. This is a team that Mr President mandated to go to the state. Till today, no communication from this person.
“He is just pushing blame instead of him to concentrate. My advice to him is that he should remember that he was elected to tackle the issues in his state. As Dauda’s predecessor, I always pray for him to succeed, to ensure that the issue of insecurity, terrorism and banditry become history in the state.
“That is because no matter what it is, that is my state, my family and everybody is there, including my extended family. So, I’m always praying each and every day for God to free and protect us from this kind of situation.
“As stakeholders, we must come together, team up and fight these criminalities. I feel that they just want to distract me from the responsibility that was given to me as Minister of Defence. They don’t want me to concentrate on my responsibility. I won’t allow them.
“God knows I have done my best and I’m going to try to do more. And for Nigeria, we are working hard to make sure that all sorts of criminalities will go. I believe he should sit down, and do a critical analysis, and he would know that the people advising him wrongly are his enemies.
“He is not a woman, he is a man. Let him concentrate. Let him stand. Let him be firm on his responsibility. He should not be like a woman crying all the time.
“Let him continue saying whatever he wants to say. I have said my own. We have so many things to say about him that I’m not going to say because our elders have talked about it. I respect them and I’ll make sure that I respect what they advised me to do.”
Sodiq Lawal is a passionate and dedicated journalist with a knack for uncovering captivating stories in the bustling metropolis of Osun State and Nigeria at large. He has a versatile reporting style, covering a wide range of topics, from politics , campus, and social issues to arts and culture, seeking impact in all facets of the society.