Zamfara APC youths dismiss protest against Matawalle

2024-05-04 17:28:51

Tribune Online

The Zamfara All Progressives Congress (APC) Youth Movement has dismissed the protest by an alleged rented crowd calling on the EFCC to reopen the investigation on alleged N70 billion contracts awarded by the former Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle stating that it was politically motivated to tarnish his image of the ex-governor who is now the Minister of State for Defence.

The group in a statement signed by its Chairman Abubakar Ibrahim Gusau, said Matawalle's political opponents in Zamfara State are afraid of his towering profile and achievements as governor and minister and resorted to propaganda, blackmail, fake news and renting of children and youth to protest against him.

They emphasized that it is on record that most of the contracts Matawalle awarded in the 14 Local Government Areas had been completed, and some are ongoing.

The Zamfara APC youth further stated that there is no documentary evidence that the former governor was indicted for misappropriation, misapplication, and embezzlement of public funds for personal enrichment, and there is no Judiciary Commission of Inquiry or anti-graft agency in Zamfara State where Dr Bello Matawalle was indicted for alleged corruption.

"More importantly, there is a subsisting court judgement that restrained the EFCC from investigating, arresting, and prosecuting Matawalle. The judgement has not been set aside by a higher court", the group said

They, however, challenged the sponsors of the protest to provide the public with any documentary evidence where the former governor collected funds from any contractor as kickback when he was in office or show any bank account where such funds were siphoned by Matawalle.

"As governor, Matawalle has the responsibility to award contracts based on specifications. All the terms and conditions were spelt out in the contract agreements, including construction and supplies. If a contractor fails to execute his job as stipulated in the contract agreement or diverts funds, the EFCC and relevant anti-graft agencies should hold him responsible, not Matawalle.

"It is all about the 2027 general election permutations and the increasing popularity of Matawalle in Zamfara State in particular and the nation in general.

"It is this rising profile of Matawalle, a quintessential leader who delivered Zamfara to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election that his political opponents are afraid of and want to pull him down by all means including recruiting children to protest at EFCC.

"As governor, Matawalle was committed to good governance, infrastructural development, healthcare, education, agriculture, and total development of the state, which enormously impacted the people. His government was marked by transparency, inclusiveness, and dedication to the welfare of the citizens of Zamfara State.

"He is a quintessential leader and should be allowed to concentrate on his duties as Minister of Defence for State to curb security challenges facing the country," the statement added.

2024-05-04 News