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Matawalle’s Defence Minister’s position not benefiting Zamfara –Gov.

The Zamfara State Governor Dauda Lawal, has described the appointment of his predecessor, Bello Matawalle, as Minister of State for Defence, unuseful to the state considering the huge resources committed by his administration on security across metropolis.

Lawal said that Matawalle’s appointment, unlike other appointees should have benefitted Zamfara, but the former governor’s position has not confer any advantage on the state.

The governor stated this on Tuesday while responding to questions from journalist on efforts made by his administration to develop Zamfara and ensure businesses thrive.

When asked whether Matawalle’s office as Minister of State for Defence has helped in any way to combat the menace of banditry plaguing Zamfara, Lawal said, “It is always interesting when this Minister of Defence thing comes up. Yeah, he is Minister of State, Defence, but of what benefit to us? Just about few weeks ago, bandits went to his hometown, killed many people, what has he done about it? Yes, we have Minister of Defence but of what benefit to Zamfara State?”

The governor lamented the laidback attitude of the police and the military in combating the menace of banditry plaguing the state.

He said the uninspiring attitude of Federal Government-controlled security agencies was responsible for the creation of the state security outfit, Community Protection Guards in January.

“That is the reason why I set up the Community Protection Guards because I have control over them and they are doing exceptionally well. I don’t control over the military, I don’t have control over the police. I don’t have control over the civil defence. No matter what you tell them, they don’t take instructions from you; they take instructions from the heads of their agencies,” he said.

Lawal said the state-backed security was not created to go after political foes. “I don’t want people being killed left right and centre every day. I would I feel to see your people being killed on a daily basis?” he asked.

Matawalle was Zamfara governor from May 2019 to May 2023. He was the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the 2023 governorship election in the state while the incumbent, Lawal, was the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Lawal, a first-time governorship candidate, trounced Matawalle at the polls and truncated the latter’s chances of return for a second term as governor.

After his electoral defeat, Matawalle made the cabinet of President Bola Tinubu in August and he was assigned as a portfolio as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Defence.

Matawalle challenged Lawal’s victory up to the Supreme Court but the apex court in a landmark ruling in January 2024 affirmed the PDP candidate as the winner of the election.

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