Former chairman of Maradun Local Government of Zamfara State, Hon. Ahmad Abubakar has accused Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle of Zamfara State of surreptitiously donating Hilux vans to bandits to facilitate their nefarious operations in the State.
The governor has, however denied the allegations.
The former council boss who was impeached alongside the deputy chairman, Shehu Muhammad Faru by the council legislators in May last year, made this allegation during an interview with newsmen recently.
He said that the recent terror attack on Janbako community, in Maradun Local Government Area was facilitated by the donation of three new Hilux vans, which the bandits used in their operation, resulting in the killing of ten innocent villagers.
“On that fateful day, the bandits, who stormed the community in their hundreds, with unnumbered motorbikes were confronted with stiff resistance from the villagers. This sent red signals to the bandits, forcing them to retreat and abandoning one of the Hilux vehicles, loaded with assorted ammunition and three rifles,” he claimed.
The ex- local government chairman accused the army and the police of nonchalant attitude, alleging that in most cases they abandoned their constitutional responsibility, only to reappear after the bandits have killed, maimed their victims, and gone unharassed.
He blamed the newsmen in the State for what he called “failure to report what is actually happening in the State, but only focusing on the issue of insecurity.
“Unfortunately, the working journalists in the state have abandoned the four attributes of the profession which authorized journalists to inform, attack the government’s wrong policies, defend the public interest and influence good policies of the government.”
However, in a statement signed and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital by the Special Adviser to the Governor on media and public enlightenment, Hon. Zailani Bappa, the governor’s spokesman described the report as a sheer mischief.
Bappa noted that the medium joined forces with the enemies of peace to destroy the political dynasty of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.
According to him, “the report may be either due to carelessness, quackery or sheer mischief; the medium went ahead to publish this mischievous story, which was obviously sourced from the enemies of peace in the state without balancing from the side of the Government.
“To disabuse the minds of the law-abiding and patriotic Nigerians, Governor Bello Mohammed used the meager resources of the state Government to purchase 200 Hilux vans in support of Security operatives in the state.
“These vehicles were duly distributed to all security agencies in the state under the supervision of the Inspector-General of Police, and the beneficiaries included the Military, the Police, the Customs and Excise, the Immigration Services, the NDLEA, the NSCDC, the FRSC, among others.
“With all the programs of the state government towards peace in the state, there was never a time it gave vehicles or money to the so-called repentant bandits as there was no agreement to such. The report was a wicked allegation and simply a figment of the writers imagination or an intended machination to discredit the administration of Bello Muhammad and undermine the peace effort in the State.
“The State government also calls on the Nigerian Military to require Sahara Reporters to substantiate their faceless and distinctly imaginary so-called Military officer source of this story because it borders on peace and is a matter of life and death of innocent citizens or face required discipline.”