• APC Kicks Against ‘Sponsored’ Campaign Against Defence Minister

From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

Amidst escalating insecurity in Zamfara State due to heightened banditry activities, Dr Suleiman Shuaibu Shikafi, President of the African Youth for Conflict Resolution in Nigeria and former advisor to the Minister of State Defence, Bello Matawalle, has urged President Bola Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in the state.

In an interview with newsmen in Kaduna, Shikafi reminded President Tinubu that the Zamfara people voted for him in the 2023 general elections, expecting his assistance during this critical time.

“Zamfara State is gone,” he declared. “All the local governments are now under the control of bandits, not the governor. The governor is nowhere to be found. We learned he is back in America after returning with northern governors two weeks ago while these criminal elements are killing his people back home.”

Shikafi called upon President Tinubu to utilize his prerogative powers to enforce a state of emergency in Zamfara by deploying special soldiers to restore law and order within three to six months. He cited the example of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s intervention during the tenure of former Plateau State Governor, Joshua Dariye.

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“Mr. President, don’t forget your promise that you would be with us,” Shikafi reminded Tinubu. “Remember we gave you the highest votes in the Northwest. It is now time for you to pay back. And the only way is to enforce a state of emergency.”

Regarding the protests against Matawalle, Shikafi defended the former governor, stating that he left N11 billion in the Zamfara State treasury and denying allegations of stealing N700 billion. He accused the protesters of being ignorant of the law and called upon them to leave Matawalle alone.

Shikafi also commended the police, military, and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps for their efforts in protecting the state despite the challenging circumstances.

In a related development, Alhaji Ashiru Tukur, Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Wing Mobilisation Vanguard, condemned the protests against the Minister for State Defence, Bello Matawalle, stating that they were based on ignorance of the law. He commended the EFCC for “rubbishing” the protesters and their sponsors, emphasizing that neither Matawalle nor Minister for Defence, Abdulaziz Yari, would be affected by such propaganda.

Tukur accused the protesters of being sponsored by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government of Zamfara State and a member of the House of Representatives from Zamfara. He described the protests as “unnecessary” and “demeaning” to the people of Zamfara, who are facing serious security challenges.