Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa has alleged that the Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari is plotting to use 8,500 armed youths under the guise of civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) to destabilise the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.
In a statement signed by Marafa himself, the lawmaker said Yari, frustrated by his inability to force his preferred governorship candidate on the All Progressives Congress (APC), announced the recruitment of 8,500 civilian Joint Task Force(JTF) members, purportedly to end killings and kidnappings in the state.
Marafa, one of the APC governorship aspirants in Zamfara State, expressed shock that Yari who had deliberately allowed the banditry in the state to fester, and banned the activities of self-help groups (local vigilante), despite all pleas and suggestions from well-meaning people across the state, will come out to announce the recruitment of 8,500 youths at the twilight of his administration.
“ From our finding around his political circle, Yari resorted to recruit the 8,500 youths solely to execute his plot to destabilise the 2019 elections in Zamfara State like he did during the aborted Oct 3rd primary election where six people were killed and many more wounded. The recruitment, is to cause mayhem, terrorise innocent voters and snatch election materials to actualise his desperate desire to hold unto power beyond 2019 by proxy.
“ Because of his abysmal performance in the state, initially Yari thought he would use federal might including security agencies to manipulate next year’s elections. However, with the decision of INEC not to receive any list from APC for Zamfara State, (following its inability to conduct primaries and agree on consensus) all orchestrated by him, Yari has decided to arm innocent youth in the state to upturn people’s will come 2019, since his popularity cannot win him a ward in the state,” Marafa said.
The ranking lawmaker recalled that at the height of the killings and kidnappings in the state, Yari abandoned the people and the state for Abuja in the name of national assignment, “ junketing from one hotel to the other, while our people are being killed and maimed mercilessly.”
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari and security agencies to intervene and stop Yari from arming innocent youth in the state to advance his dead political ambition.
He said the recruitment of the civilian JTF is Yari’s sole idea and not the resolution of the state security council as he alleged.
“It’s the continuation of his idea to illegally create State Police.
“ He wants to turn our state into theatre of war as other politicians in the state will be forced to recruit theirs to defend themselves, their supporters and their votes! The federal government and all well-meaning Nigerians should stop this now and call him to order,” he said.