The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State has accused the state government of planning to go after its principal officers to silence the opposition in the state.
The party chairman in the state, Bala Mande, at a press conference on Monday, said the state government had secured a warrant of arrest for its Deputy Chairman, Kabiru Jabaka, for accusing Governor Bello Matawallle of travelling to Niger Republic to watch local wrestling (Dambe) while bandits are on the rampage in Zamfara.
The PDP said the governor is also angry over being challenged to account for N31billion federal allocation to the state and his and security votes.
Mr Mande, a retired military officer, said the PDP will resist any attempt to intimidate and harass its members and called on the “United States of America, United Kingdom, and advanced democracy countries to deny VISA to persons involved in undemocratic practices” in Zamfara.
“We understand that my Deputy, Professor Kabiru Jabaka, is now being sought for by all means to be arrested. The state government has gotten an arrest warrant to arrest him for no offence other than that he spoke the facts about the governor leaving his state while people were being murdered, massacred, abducted and raped, and went across the border to Niger Republic, to watch wrestling.
“We call on the well-wishers of democracy of the international community to do the needful to discourage this kind of attitude by denying Visa to the perpetrators of this undemocratic attitude. If they want to kill democracy then they don’t deserve to go to democratic nations. This is my call for the democratic world not to issue visas to undemocratic elements in our state.”
On recent attacks
The PDP also said the report it got on the recent attacks in Bukkuyum and Anka LGAs stated that the number of persons killed is over 200, contrary to the 58 the state government claimed.
“They are not 58, they are more than 200 from the report we, opposition, are getting. In Bukkuyum alone, they discovered over 150 corpses.
“So we have been calling on both the federal and the state governments and the various security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities, in order to save the lives of our citizens and keep them safe,” the opposition said.
In his reaction, the spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Yusuf Idris, said only the judiciary issues warrants of arrest and the governor lacks the powers to execute a warrant.
He accused the PDP of lies and mischief against the APC and Mr Matawalle, saying the attitude was targetted at heating the polity in desperation to clinch power by hook or crook.
“It is disheartening to see a former security officer, former governor and a retired army colonel coming to public glare to say many things that are untrue.
“The PDP never sees anything good in the government. For instance, lately, when the governor, while in the company of his colleagues from Kebbi and Jigawa states went to Niger Republic to discuss security issues, the opposition PDP, only saw Matawalle there, minus the other governors and they have been using the entertainment aspect of the visit, which is local wrestling organised by the host country and government rather than the main issue even as the media aides to the governor issued releases on why the trip took place.
“They try as always to draw public sympathy by leaving the main issues for trivialities. When the state government set up an investigation on Professor Kabiru Jabaka over allegations of corruption he perpetrated while as Chairman of the state’s Zakkat and Endowment Board, in order to cover his tracks and guilt, he ran for cover into the PDP, accusing the government of spending unverified monies, while his issue has been confirmed.
“The former dictator chairman of the party, who even though a retired colonel, never contributed anything to address insecurity situation in the state is now calling Matawalle a dictator and since he cannot differentiate between government and the security, he now said the government is after the arrest of the noisy Jabaka.
“It is high time the so-called elders stop the hide and seek self-destructive agenda setting and conduct themselves with maturity or time will go against them.
“I believe if Governor Matawalle is muscling opposition in Zamfara State, he would not have allowed the PDP to open its office opposite the state Ministry of Finance freely.
“The press conference addressed by the PDP Chairman, where he gave an outrageous figure of the casualties recorded in the recent attacks at Anka and Bukkuyum local government, even as the two emirs gave the exact figures of 58 before the governor, and the state security agencies, was a direct security breach, unless if he is trying to raise our suspicions.
“But I will not be surprised of his claims because they were not happy with the number because what the PDP and its state leadership want to hear is the news of large scale killings, kidnappings and rustling so as to start jubilation and sharing the news on different platforms in their animalistic thoughts.
“So for the issue of Jabaka, I advised them to allow him to face his woes squarely, according to laws of the land rather than shifting blames against others.
“Let them know that APC in Zamfara State, under Governor Matawalle, is prospering very fast and no amount of blackmail will change its fortunes in the state,” the APC said.
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