The immediate-past governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, has lambasted his successor, Bello Matawalle, saying the governor knows those behind renewed attacks in the state.
Suspected bandits had killed 14 people in Karaye village, Gummi Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Sunday.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr Matawalle vowed to arrest and appropriately deal with Mr Yari, should there be any breach of the peace in the state while he (Yari) is around.
“I swear, the next time Abdulaziz Yari comes to town and there is breach of the peace, I will order for his immediate arrest in the state. In fact, if need be, I will lead the arrest myself in his village of Talata-Mafara and I am not joking,” Mr Matawalle warned in a statement by his spokesman, Zailani Bappa.
“This was the third time a major breach of peace occured when the former governor is on a visit to the state.
“My victory as the incumbent governor and my success in bringing peace to Zamfara are ordained by God. I will not allow the former governor and his cronies to rubbish our hard-earned peace in the state any more.
“Henceforth, I will show him that power is now in my hands not in his hands anymore. And we shall appropriately employ it for the benefit and protection of millions of our citizens in the state.”
But in a telephone interview with DAILY NIGERIAN, Mr Yari dismissed Mr Matawalle’s threats and other allegations, saying the governor should check the constitution to see if he has powers to arrest him for visiting the state.
“He should check the constitution to see if he has powers to arrest me for visiting my village. My activities are clear. If my coming to Zamfara is the cause of the attacks, why nothing happens in my village, Talata Mafara, where I visit?
“From Sokoto airport, I go straight to my house in Talata Mafara, and when I finished parley with my relations, political associates and loyalists, I go straight back to the airport from. How and where did I foment any trouble?
“Let me tell you, I’m not his mate politically. I am far above him. When I was a governor, I mind my business of governance not issuing empty threats to my opponents. When I was the governor, he was too insignificant to even appear in my dreams.
“My activities in my house at Tatata Mafara are transparent. I visit my village every 30 to 40 days to meet either religious leaders or politicians or traders or local government secretaries or social media promoters. This is what is bothering him. He is just envious of my political standing in Zamfara.
“If he continues leveling wild allegations against me to tarnish my image in the eyes of the public and my supporters, I will sue him for defamation.
“The fact of the matter is that the mess is still there in Zamfara. There is no any peace in the state. The governor knows the attackers and killers of Zamfara people because they are his friends,” he added.