By Deyemi Saka
It will amount to stating the obvious if I say Gold is the most precious metal known to mankind and the quest for it has brought about wealth and in some instances desolation and destruction of lives and property.
We have been told how the huge gold deposit in Zamfara is responsible for the high level of insecurity in the state and reason behind bandits running over the State. The “Gold” and the precious stone here is Governor Bello Muhammed Matawalle who the All Progressive Congress is doing everything to bring into its fold.
Governor Bello Matawalle announced himself as a precious stone when just few months into office, he pushed for the abolishment of the law on payment of obscene retirement benefits and pension for former Governors, Deputy Governors, Speakers and Deputy Speakers. This move endeared him to many Nigerians and got them demanding such from other Governors especially those of APC as their party is always quick to claim its committed to fight against corruption.
The way he(Matawalle) went about implementing state policies with human face, and also demonstrating compassion which is so lacking in an average public holder made him so loved and popular among his people and Nigerians.
His approach to the issue of banditry which turned Zamfara to a daily killing field before he got into office and brought about a drastic reduction of such criminal activities only indicted the APC and his predecessor, Abdulaziz Yari and were further revealed as insensitive, wicked and incompetent.
I guess these and many other reasons is responsible for the quest to get him to leave the Peoples Democratic Party for APC and APC has not hidden its intention. One of such instances was when Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State led a delegation of APC governors to pay him a visit and apologise to him for the unsubstantiated and reckless accusation by its deputy National Publicity Secretary (Yekini Nabena) thereby distancing themselves from such pettiness. This was very symbolic as it calmed frayed nerves and national interest was given priority over partisan politics. What did PDP do as a show of solidarity? Few press releases and nothing more.
I have seen APC chieftains quick to demonstrate friendship and comradeship while he(Matawalle) does not get such love from his fellow PDP governors. Instead, he was vilified for the gold assets in Zamfara which generated bad blood because of the uproar by Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Some twenty-four(24) hours ago, the governor of Kebbi state, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu yesterday led a delegation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) bigwigs to Zamfara state. In the contingent were Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee and Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni, as well as Jigawa state governor, Abubakar Badaru and they were in Zamfara to commiserate with governor Matawalle over a recent market fire in Gusau, the state capital. In corroboration of my viewpoint, Governor Bello Matawalle in his address to his guests commended the three APC governors for the gesture which he noted his colleagues from the PDP had not done and assured that it would be reciprocated.
“This is a strategy from and by the APC, and Zamfara as a no man’s land will continue to welcome you and we will not care what negative things other people will say but we expect you to also extend our appreciation to our President, Muhammadu Buhari,”
With 2023 fast approaching, I find the nonchalant disposition of the PDP to all the APC’s antics confounding. Zamfara is to Northern Nigeria what Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Delta is to South South. I still cannot rationalise how PDP will be comfortable with losing one of its prized assets if not it’s most prized asset.
If Governor Bello Matawalle leaves PDP for APC, I will not blame him because every human want to be among people who makes him important, valued and precious. Every human want to be where he or she is desired and loved.
While APC as a party which has lost the goodwill of Nigerians is getting to poach prominent opposition figures to join them, PDP seems evidently clueless and more disastrous as opposition than when it was in power for sixteen(16) years.
APC never for once left anyone in doubt its quest for the “gold” of Zamfara, the golden boy of Zamfara. APC has never hidden its desire to have Governor Bello Matawalle in its fold and it is just a matter of time for that to happen.
Lambert and Curtis.