Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has replied to his critics who alleged that he was attempting to sabotage the Federal Government’s no-fly-zone order on the state.
An online medium that is not DAILY NIGERIAN had published a report on Thursday, claiming that the governor was plotting to, among others, bypass top presidential aides including the National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno, and the Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite over the “no-flight-zone” order.
But Mr Matawalle’s Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, in a statement on Thursday, described the report as “a very unfounded and mischievously fabricated story”.
According to Mr Bappa, the public should disregard “this callous and blatant blackmail of calumny”, stressing that Mr Matawalle is in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and its decisions to fight banditry in the state and the zone as a whole.
The statement said: “Governor Matawalle further commended the President three days ago when all the four Service Chiefs paid him a courtesy call in Gusau and described the President as a father who has always supported him in the fight against banditry in the state.
“He noted that Mr President has always, swiftly, granted him audience anytime he requests to meet him on security and also commended his decision to send additional 6,000 troops to boost the fight against banditry in the state.”
On the issue of illegal mining, the statement noted that Governor Matawalle had found on ground a continued abuse of Federal Government order banning illegal mining in the state.
“He fought this disregard to Presidential order which led to the arrest of many illegal mimers in the state including foreign nationals who were handed over to security operatives.
“It is obvious now that it is corruption and illegality that is fighting back. Otherwise, how can the Governor who worked hard to fight illegality be now linked to the same illegality perpetrated by others?
“As for helicopters landing in the name of His Excellency, there is no false imagination bigger than that as the Governor has no helicopters nor hire any choppers for whatever reason or purpose,” Mr Bappa emphasised.
The governor, therefore, assured the Presidency that the fight against banditry in the state is a collective one, stressing that he has no intention to go parallel with the efforts of the Federal Government in this fight.
“The sponsors of this wicked lies against Governor Matawalle should be ashamed of themselves and should know that the public is in tandem with the persistent efforts of Governor Bello Mohammed in the fight against banditry and other criminality in Zamfara state,” the statement added.