Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, of blessed memory, said that conscience is an open wound and only truth can heal it. In Zamfara state, the conscience of former Governor Abdulazeez Yari and that of his administration’s apologists is continuously haunting them in an endless pursuit of a worrying vicious circle. In a grand design to rubbish the God-chosen administration of Governor Bello Matawalle against their earlier designed fascist arrangement to enslave the good people of the state, these bitter losers came up with an article in Blueprint newspaper titled “Celebrating Matawalle’s one year of failure”. The title of the article aptly captured the diabolical inhibition of this camp against the people of Zamfara state. Indeed, while good people love to celebrate success, they chose to celebrate failure which, in any case, is imaginary as far as the administration of Governor Bello Mohammed is concerned.
The writer, one Musa Gusau, said, “Zamfara state and the entire citizens of Nigeria have never witnessed this kind of lackadaisical maladministration in the entire history of the state”. It is one thing to denigrate an authority at will, but it is indeed, a total disrespect to the collective intelligence of responsible citizens to undermine their sensitivity by fragrant abuse of facts or an attempt to upturn history. Whatever the case may be, posterity can never be manipulated nor can it be re-written. The entire eight years of Yari administration witnessed a gradual but steady progression of practical maladministration which turned the entire state into a continuous war theater and a “Hammer House of Horror”. Matawalle administration came in as a Messiah and reversed the trend, leading the state back to sanity and peace. This is a fact that cannot be manipulated or changed.
In a desperate attempt to clear the ugly mark of dishonour earned by the Yari administration, Gusau segmented the so-called achievements of the Yari administration, beginning by achievements recorded in one year, but ended up summing up achievements recorded in eight years. Obviously, the writer could not sustain the trend of trying to roll out the sectoral success of the administration of Yari in its first one year in office as there was virtually none to be proud of. He mentioned the construction of some township roads, UBEC secretariat and court complex as the achievements of that administration. Somewhere within the article, he mentioned the construction of 300 classroom blocks, a teachers training center and rehabilitation of schools as achievements of former Governor Yari in education in eight years. He also mentioned something about statistics on girl child education without providing the statistics. He did also talk about increased number of WAEC attendees over the years.
However, the administration whose “failure” Gusau and his cohorts are celebrating actually constructed and furnished over 900 blocks of classrooms across the state and built a storey building model primary school. It equally promoted all primary school teachers who were denied their promotions as the eight years of Yari administration lasted as well as formalised the appointments of 556 teachers abandoned to their seeming fate of uncertainty by the the same past administration of Yari.
I found it laughable when the writer deliberately brought in the issue of WAEC and NECO. This is an area where the writer must have been ignorant of the facts left behind by his hero. Yari administration turned its back against care for graduating secondary school students where it went to the extent of not paying the examination fees for many years. As at the time Matawalle took over, two years of graduating sets of secondary school students did not have their results. Matawalle met with the management of these two bodies and pledged to start settling the over N2 billion debt owed by the Yari administration. It was only upon the first instalment of N400 million that the results of Zamfara state students was released.
Matawalle administration also brought life into the the so-called state university established without structure, even as record showed that N3 billion was spent. When Matawalle came in, the university at Talata–Mafara was not even staffed. However, today, Governor Matawalle has started injecting real purpose into the take-off of the university. It now has a vice-chancellor and all the principal staff. Matawalle has equally attracted a N1bn Tetfund grant for the university
A positive move to secure the professional future of the state was embarked by Matawalle administration where 200 secondary school graduates were sponsored to study medicine, engineering and related courses abroad.
On health, Gusau mentioned soft areas that fizzled out such as immunisations and supply of drugs which can no longer be authenticated as achievements of Yari’s eight years of governance. However, when he mentioned “hundreds of PHCs”, we are wont to ask which hundreds of towns and villages benefitted since these are verifiable. Nonetheless, Matawalle administration has provided hospital in Kagara which is currently awaiting commissioning. He has also awarded the construction of 147 health centers of 50 beds each. The general hospitals in the state now have 17 new ambulances which they never had. The advent of Covid-19 has been met with vigorous response from the government which built two 110-bed isolation centers equipped with ventilators and test sample kits.
A fat misrepresentation of facts, characteristics of this group, was where the writer said the Matawalle administration did not construct even half a kilometer of road in the state. The truth, however, is between inter and intra town roads, the Matawalle administration has constructed the several roads across the state. They include: Canteen Daji Area road rehabilitation, Kwanar Yoruba Mosque Sabon Gari Road via Sarkin Tasha Mosque, Sardauna Bread linking up to Late Ladan Mada House, Old motor park near Auwal Bread beside railway linking up to CIS linking up to Government House road opposite Jifatu Supermarket, among others.
Finally, the writer alleged that Matawalle administration has turned the state upside down and he funnily likened it to the Bermuda Triangle saying that everyone knows about it but no one wants to go there. When I read that, I began to wonder why the writer had to do this to his benefactor; to use his own pen to aptly remind us the atrocities of his hero when the camp was hoping that the good citizens of Zamfara state have started forgetting some of the dark moments in the eight years of that administration. He continued the allegation by saying that Matwalle aided criminality with millions of naira. He said the administration connived with the media to silence opposition voices as well.
Zamfara state was created in 1996. But no state of the federation witnessed the type turmoil it underwent during the Yari administration since the civil war. The administration actually aided criminality by creating the illegal Yan Sa Kai which killed abducted, maimed and raped at will.
I will cap up my response with a summary of a part of interim report submitted by the former Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, where his committee set up to study the effect of banditry in the state said over 6,000 men were lost to killings by bandits under Yari administration. Matawalle administration is only one year today, and we have not seen its end. But the above gory scenario is the result of Yari’s completed eight years in government which makes me begin to wonder who is really a failure, Yari or Matawalle? The world has acknowledged the handiwork of the former as one who indeed, turned the state “upside down” and the former returned it to normalcy and repositioned it to the path of peace, progress and tranquility.
Fulani writes from Gusau, Zamfara state