Matawalle’s govt is disgraceful, says Zamfara PDP chair

Matawalle’s govt is disgraceful, says Zamfara PDP chair

- in Featured

A former military administrator of Nasarawa State and the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Colonel Bala Mande, speaks to OLUWAFEMI MORGAN about the performance of Governor Bello Matawalle’s administration as well as the fortunes of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party

There seems to be a reverse of fortunes for the Peoples Democratic Party in Zamfara as major names like Abdulaziz Yari and Kabir Marafa are reported to be defecting to the party. What do you think has brought these two bigwigs back to the party?

The APC (All Progressives Congress) has failed the nation, both at the national and at the state level, in terms of security and the country is in shambles. The promises the APC made to the people have been discovered to be full-blown lies, so I am happy that former governor Abdulaziz Yari and Senator Kabir Marafa have shown that they put the people of Zamfara and Nigeria first when they want to pitch their tent. They have shown concern for the state by moving to the PDP because Mattawale is a failure. Nothing good is happening here under Mattawale; things have gone really bad and our leaders have come together to rescue Zamfara from bad governance.

As Chairman of the Nasarawa PDP, how do you intend to manage the different ambitions of former governor Yari and senator Marafa?

We will manage their ambitions as much as we can.

Do you have fears that the PDP may become a house divided against itself with Yari and Marafa in the party?

No, I have no such fears.

Should we be expecting further defections from the APC to the PDP?

Yes, you will soon witness some defections even from the core Mattawale camp in the APC. The people of Zamfara are dissatisfied with the Mattawale-led government, so anyone who wants to be on the side of the people will surely move to the PDP.

What are some of the unique qualities and governance manifesto that differentiates the PDP from the APC?

The PDP is focused, we are also very honest. We are interested in providing the right leadership for a united Nigeria. We are a party that follows due process in achieving programmes that will benefit the people.

As a key player of the party and a delegate, do you prefer consensus candidacy or party primaries for the emergence of the presidential candidate?

I believe that what we need is a competent Nigerian leader who can deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. Where the person comes from doesn’t matter more than what the person can deliver. We have several problems, so we need a firm, forthright and decisive leader who can get things done without fear or favour.

Are there considerations for zoning in the party for governorship aspirants in the state?

We are looking forward to achieving an amicable consensus in the party; we are also open to party primaries if we do not achieve consensus. The party is a united family, I do not expect any internal rancour whatsoever.

Recently, Senator Marafa asked Governor Matawalle to review the Sharia law in the state. Do you feel the same way about this matter?

Yes; the North has always had Sharia law since the First Republic, and the practice of the law was clear to everyone. It did not bear any bias or political undertones. Under (former governor) Ahmed Sani, he did as if he was the one who brought Sharia into the state. In fact, the branch or type of Sharia he brought was used for politics and so when he went away, his Sharia went away with him.

Under Governor Mattawale, Sharia law is in total confusion. The Mattawale government does not have a policy direction on anything that will lead the state to progress or resolve contentious issues using Sharia law.

How would you rate the government of Mattawale in tackling insecurity in the state?

The government of Mattawale is a disgrace, it is confusion galore, and he lacks direction for the people of the state. Mattawale has performed poorly that is why the PDP is becoming a platform of convergence for many concerned leaders in Zamfara State, to redirect the state into a season of peace and progress

Recently, the Zamfara State House of Assembly removed a PDP chieftain and former deputy governor Mahdi Gasau. Many have said this was done because he was in the PDP while Mattawale moved to the APC. After the impeachment, there seem to be a grave silence on the issue; has Mattawale won?

We are still in court on the issue. We will await the pending court judgement on the issue. As a former Minister of Environment, do you think that the terrorism around and beyond the Lake Chad area was compounded by desertification?

Desertification has nothing to do with terrorism. We have always had our Sahel, semi-Sahel lands in the North, yet we did not have terrorists as we have now. What needs to be done by this current government is for them to do thorough findings that led to the the rise of terrorists attacks, with due consulatations with the communities, they will be curb terrorism in the North. You need decisive political will to curb terrorism in the country.

You were a campaign coordinator for the Umaru Yar’ Adua/Goodluck Jonathan ticket in 2007. Lately, there have been  speculations that Jonathan may join the 2023 Presidential race. What are you thoughts on this?

Jonathan has not declared to Nigerians on which party he would be aspiring for Presidency, but there are others who have come out and have shared with us what they want to do for Nigeria. So, it is left for us to consider those who have already declared for President.

Have you received consultations from PDP presidential

aspirants in Zamfara?

Yes, we have received delegations of the political aspirants in the party; they have come to us to share with us their manifestos.

As a retired military personnel, what can be done to curb the invasion of your state and other parts of the North by terrorists?

The President has to take decisive action by ordering the security operatives to make the necessary moves against

the terrorists. The order from the President must not only be carried out but must be seen to be implemented to the letter by security operatives. The chain of command must not be broken at any point once the president gives the order.

Do you think that the current corruption case against former governor Yari may affect the ambitions of the party in the future?

There are many politicians who have cases with the EFCC (Economic and Finanancial Crimes Commission) yet have gone ahead with their political ambitions. As long as they were not convicted of the corruption allegation against them they had to right to vie for office.

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