From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

A non-governmental organization (NGO), the Centre for Sustainable Peace and Development has described as hoax and a lie from the pit of hell, the allegations that Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mattawalle, was using an aircraft to take out gold and bring in arms and ammunition for bandits.

The group, in a statement issued in Abuja, accused the presidency of orchestrating the fake news in the bid to intimidate and frustrate the peace efforts of the Mattawalle administration.  It further faulted the allegation that the federal government had uncovered plots by some individuals to sabotage the implementation of the presidential directive banning gold exploration and the no-fly-zone order in Zamfara State, noting that the state has no airport or airstrip.

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The group’s Executive Director, Dr. Bello Usman Abdul Ganiyu, in the statement insisted that the there is no such plot, arguing that the presidency is constantly raising the alarm where there is none all in a to cover up shady deals and to create the impression of tension in Zamfara State.

He further pointed out that “those involved and their cronies own many mining sites in many states of the federation. They use many companies as conduit pipes in these nefarious illegal mining activities. With vast network of companies dealing in illegal mining across the country, those behind in the bid to extend their tentacles to Zamfara State sent cronies to Governor Mattawalle to allow their companies to begin to engage in their illegal mining activities in Zamfara State.