A former council chairman of Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara state, Hon Ahmed Abubakar has raised alarm, accusing Governor Bello Matawalle of donating Hilux van to bandits behind a closed door to facilitate their operations.
Hon. Abubakar made the allegation while briefing newsmen on the recent attack on Janbako, a village in Maradun LGA by bandits. He said this was possible because the governor secretly donated three Hilux vans to the bandits and have cost 10 lives of the villagers.
The former council boss while narrating the ordeal said, “On that fateful day, the bandits, who stormed the community in their hundreds, with unnumbered motorbikes were confronted with stiff resistance from the villagers. This sent red signals to the bandits, forcing them to retreat and abandoning one of the Hilux vehicles, loaded with assorted ammunition and three rifles,”.
Abubakar further accused the security agents of negating their primary responsibility through abandoning the locals to the mercy of the criminals only to reappear when the bandits have finished unleashing their pogrom while the bandits leave unchallenged.
He also blamed the newsmen for failing to report details of what is happening to his people instead they chose to report with ambiguity as insecurity, while the blood of his kinsmen flows.
In his statement, “Unfortunately, the working journalists in the state have abandoned the four attributes of the profession which authorized journalists to inform attack government’s wrong policies, defend the public interest and influence good policies of the government.”
However, in a counter statement which was signed and dispatched by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Public Enlightenment, Zailani Bappa, he described the Abubakar claim as sheer mischief.
Bappa claimed that the Ex-council boss was on a mission to assassinate the political dynasty of his boss, the Governor.
In his statement, “the report may be either due to carelessness, quackery or sheer mischief; the medium went ahead to publish this mischievous story, which was obviously sourced from the enemies of peace in the state without balancing from the side of the Government.
“To disabuse the minds of the law-abiding and patriotic Nigerians, Governor Bello Mohammed used the meager resources of the state Government to purchase 200 Hilux vans in support of Security operatives in the state.
“These vehicles were duly distributed to all security agencies in the state under the supervision of the Inspector-General of Police, and the beneficiaries included the Military, the Police, the Customs and Excise, the Immigration Services, the NDLEA, the NSCDC, the FRSC, among others.
The statement continued, “With all the programs of the state government towards peace in the state, there was never a time it gave vehicles or money to the so-called repentant bandits as there was no agreement to such. The report was a wicked allegation and simply a figment of the writer’s imagination or an intended machination to discredit the administration of Bello Muhammad and undermine the peace effort in the State.
Meanwhile, the statement called on the Nigerian Military to prevail on Sahara Reporters to substantiate their claim of a so-called Military source that made the accusation, otherwise, the state government will take up the matter for legal prosecution in court.