Chinelo Obogo, Lagos
Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle has accused his predecessor, Abdulaziz Yari, of being responsible for recent violent attacks in the state.
In a press statement on Sunday by the Director General, Press Affairs, Yusuf Gusau, the Governor said that the recent attacks in the northwestern state are being orchestrated by members of the outlawed Yansakai group which was set up by the former Govenor and equiped with arms to fight bandits and killer herdsmen.
Matawalle accused Yari of having recruited 8,000 Yansakai from across the state while he was Governor, and that the recent violence has been confirmed by security agencies as having been caused by the group.
Recently, suspected bandits killed at least 18 persons in Karaye town in Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara. After the attacks last Thursday, Govenor Matawalle had vowed to arrest Yari if there is any breach of peace in the state while he (Yari) is in town.
Gusau alleged that some opposition members in the state are bent on bringing down Matawalle’s adminstration by overblowing the Gummi incident to make the present administration look incompetent.
“There are some few politicians in the opposition APC who are bent on bringing down Matawalle’s administration for the sake of their personal gains and aggrandisement by overblowing negative incidents such as the last attack that took place in Gummi Local Government Area, which is the remains of the crises they left behind for this government as they bury their faces in shame for the fact that Matawalle was able to solve these banditry activities within his first 100 days in office,” the statement said.
“The former IGP M D Abubakar-led committee set up by Governor Mattawalle invited some former Governors, deputies and other leaders to come and make input including former Governor Yari,” it continued.
“But because of his anger, nonchallance and lack of concern, he refused to even acknowledge the invitation, but went further to stop his former commissioner, Bello Gamji, and his former Special Adviser, Sani Mayanchi, from appearing before the committee, only for a handful members of the party to say that over 30 APC members were there. Who were they and in what capacity were they there?
“After the Gummi attack happened, the Governor cancelled his proposed trip to Germany and set up a delegation led by his deputy, Mahdi Ali-Gusau, to go and commiserate with all those affected and even presented the first batch of the state government’s assistance to them. So, l wonder where the APC learned that Matawalle had flown to Germany.
“While this was going on, the Governor summoned an emergency security meeting which was attended by all heads of security agencies in the state over the matter leading to the trailing of the perpetrators of the attack.
“It should be recalled that when former Governor Yari was in charge and there was an attack in Yargaladima village area of Maru Local Government, where hundreds were massacred, he only visited the village casually and briefly from where he moved straight to Zaria, [from] where he left the country.
“Similarly, he had to be virtually forced by his colleagues to come to the state when over 100 people were killed in Birane village of Zurmi Local Government, from where he left the same day for Daura in Katsina State in company of his fellow Governors.
“Moreso, Danmaliki confirmed that there are three million guns in the bushes which has vindicated Matawalle’s statement that the former Governor has a hand in the criminal activities; and we want the security agencies to quickly invite Danmaliki so that he can lead them to where these weapons are for collection.
“We should note that these recent attacks like in the past are being caused by members of the outlawed Yansakai group; and don’t forget the crisis that was generated throughout the country in 2013 when Yari, then as Governor purchased firearms. It was the same Yari that recruited 8,000 Yansakai from across the state. So, if these carnages which have been confirmed by security agencies are being caused by the Yansakai, who do you think would be the one controlling and directing them?
“We recognise the fact that former Governor Yari has the freedom of movement, especially in Zamfara his home state, and Matawalle never said he should not come to Zamfara. But one thing for sure is, he has to respect the law of the land, particularly as it relates to political gathering which has been banned now. If he tries that again, he will face the consequences,” Gusau said in the statement.