Fred Itua, Abuja
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Kabiru Garba Marafa, has alleged that there is a plot by the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari to use 8,500 armed youths under the guise of civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) to destabilise the 2019 elections in the state.
The governor recently announced the recruitment of 8,500 civilian JTF members to end killings and kidnappings across the state.
Marafa, an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Zamfara however expressed shock that Yari who had deliberately allowed the banditry in the state to fester, and banned the activities of self help groups (local vigilante), despite all pleas and suggestions from all well meaning people across the state, will come out to announce the recruitment of 8,500 youths at the twilight of his administration.
“From our findings around his political circle, Yari resorted to recruiting the 8,500 youths solely to execute his plot to destabilize the 2019 elections in Zamfara state like he did during the aborted Oct 3rd primary election where six people were killed and many more wounded.
The recruitment, is to cause mayhem, terrorize innocent voters and snatch election materials to actualise his desperate desire to hold unto power beyond 2019 by proxy.
Reacting, spokesman to Governor Yari, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, told Saturday Sun that the decision of the state government is not out of place. He said Governor Yari consulted widely and had the backing of the State Security Council and the presidency before setting up the civilian JTF.
Dosara said: “This is not the first time Marafa is making these kinds of allegations against Governor Yari. On the floor of the Senate, Marafa has attacked and blamed the governor for not protecting the state.”
Now that he is working, he is still complaining. We must know that the governor didn’t act alone. He got the backing of the State Security Council and the presidency. Beside, he is also following what has worked in Borno State. The governor has not erred on this particular matter.”
“Because of his abysmal performance in the state, initially Yari thought he would use federal might including security agencies to manipulate next year’s elections.
However, with the decision of INEC not to receive any list from APC for Zamfara state, following its inability to conduct primaries and agree on consensus, all orchestrated by him, Yari has decided to arm innocent youths in the state to upturn people’s will come 2019, since his popularity cannot win him a ward in the state,” Marafa said.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies to intervene and stop Yari from arming innocent youths in the state to advance his political ambition. “It’s the continuation of his idea to illegally create State Police.
He wants to turn our state into theatre of war as other politicians in the State will be forced to recruit theirs to defend themselves, their supporters and their votes! The Federal government and all well meaning Nigerians should stop this now and call him to order,” he said.