Investigative Report by Ali Muhammad
(After 4 yrs of unmitigated catastrophe, during which Matawale behaved like a ruthless bandit and pirate on the edge of the Sahara Desert rapaciously appropriating the resources of Zamfara State and rendering the geo-polity more pitifully impoverished, Matawale should not be compensated for his gubernatorial infamy with a ministerial slot).
(Matawale claims about 3-billion was spent on security and surveillance equipment)
(What is Matawele’s connection with a’’ dot.com‘’ pharmaceutical company that was awarded a 1-billion naira contract to supply vehicles?)
Bello Matawalle was an accidental Governor (2019-2023) who will be ignominiously remembered for literally plunging Zamfara State into long-term financially and economically disabling accidents. He was never elected by the people of Zamfara State, rather he benefitted from an unforgettable judicial decision which dramatically dismissed and threw out the entire winners on the APC slate (from governorship National Assembly and House of Assembly victories) for failure to conduct proper primaries. Being second in the state gubernatorial election, Matawale found himself catapulted to the exalted government house. It was not by any means surprising that Matawale’s bid for a second term in 2023 ended up in abysmal failure as he was rated as one of the most historically non-performing governors of the 2019-2023 class based on multi-dimensional indices.
Under Bello Matawale , the years under reference are popularly described in the state as the wasted and squandered era of the life of Zamfara people. An unbiased review of the times of Matawale presents great difficulty if not an impossibility to earnestly point to any set of projects of proud benefits to the citizenry. The salaries of the state employees lagged into several months of arrears and left unpaid in some instances, existing hospitals suffered more depreciation and state-run health services were at poorest standards ever while primary and secondary education was literally abandoned. But for all these services and sectors, there were annual budgetary allocations that simply disappeared with the instrumentation of the bare-faced kleptomania Governor.
It should be recalled that under Matawale’s watch, that insecurity and banditry became the defining character of Zamfara State. There were situations of mass displacement of citizens particularly those who fled their rural villages consequent on the activities of bandits and cattle rustlers. It looks as if the bandits were in competition with the speed with which the governor was simultaneously fleecing and ‘’ rustling ‘’ the coffers of Zamfara people. Matawalle should be requested to declare to Nigeria’s media, to open himself for an unbiased media interview how much he spent in the various ‘’ negotiations‘’ that he supposedly conducted with the bandits during his tenure office. The fact is undeniable that such huge expenditures couldn’t have been invested in any real negotiation because they yielded no tangible results.
It is indeed justifiably suspicious that the ex-Governor will dare to claim that he once invested approximate 3-bilion naira on supply of surveillance and related security gadgets; and yet the people of Zamfara State were constantly subjected to the trauma of insecurity . The day of reckoning will ultimately come when Matawalle will be compelled to truthfully testify as to the locations being monitored by the nearly 700-milliom naira state-of-the art security equipment if they were ever purchased . Was there any results from the surveillance that is of benefit to the people of the state ?
In a state so outrageously ravaged by poverty, it is unconscionable that Governor Matawale will squander nearly 2-billion naira for settlement of custom duty, demurrage , transportation and other related expenses during his tenure. These are the kind of items, perhaps they were mere conduit , on which the ex-Zamfara political Chief Executive diverted the people’s commonwealth. The profile of gubernatorial capture of state resources being laid out here is the definitional narrative of the economic and financial rape of a state in sub-sahara Africa.; Matawalle diabolically poisoned the path of progress for the state in his 4-year failed governorship.
There’s an on-going investigation by a committee of public-spirited journalists and citizens coalition that is trailing Matawale’s lack of transparency and surreptitious movement of funds both by the Governor and the various companies that aided this humungous economic and financial theft against the people of Zamfara State.
For instance, what is the Governor’s connection with the pharmaceutical dot.com company that was availed a 1-billion naira contract for the supply of vehicles?
The Renewed Hope Agenda, which courageously lays out the path for vigorous development with a vision that the citizens will equally display a new sense of commitment to a new Nigeria, should not have accommodation for the likes of Matawale in the President’s cabinet.
What will be encouraging in a way that sends empowering and cleansing signals to the people of Zamfara State and Nigerians in general is to see people likes of the ex-Zamfara Governor subjected to the impartial scrutiny of the law to ascertain their guilt or innocence. To glorify someone of Matawale with a seat in the President is to cast lugubrious cloud in what is otherwise a revered executive apex.