By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
Former national secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and chairman of Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPS) Dr Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, has said allegation of the Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle supplying Hilux vehicles to bandits is wicked, malicious and irresponsible.
Shinkafi, while reacting to the report published by an online platform, Sahara Reporters, said it was politically motivated to incite the people of Zamfara State against the Matawalle-led government.
He said at this time of fragile peace in the country, the online platform should not be seen feeding the public with stories that are not only fake but outright falsehood.
Sahara Reporters had accused Governor Matawalle of aiding bandits by donating Hilux vehicles to them.
PAPS’ reaction comes as the Nigerian Army refuted claims of Governor Matawalle’s supply of Hilux Vehicles to aid the bandits.
The Nigeria Army in a statement signed by Brigadier-General Musiliu Bello refuted the story describing it as absurd.
In a stern refutation to the story said, “Never was His Excellency involved in giving vehicles to bandits. I know the vehicles he gave to the military, I know the vehicles he gave to other security agencies including Operation Hadarin Daji, not to the bandits, Never!”
Reacting also, Shinkafi stated, “The Sahara Reporters is being used by the enemies of Zamfara State to fan the embers of war. The report is aimed at derailing the efforts of the Governor to destabilize and dismantle the bandits who have held the state hostage for the past eight years of the previous administration in the state.
According to him “a medium such as Sahara Reporters should be doing more of constructive journalism and not destructive journalism which the nation does not need at this stage when violence is taking place on a daily basis in the country.”
On the allegation credited to the former local government chairman, Ahmad Maradun, Shinkanfi said he was inciting members of the public against Matawalle and his government because he is angry and frustrated over his sack by the Zamfara State House of Assembly for alleged misappropriation of funds, abuse of office and aiding and abetting armed banditry.
Maradun, had alleged that Matawalle gave the bandits Hilux vehicles, which they used to attack innocent residents. According to him, the hoodlums who killed 10 people in Janbako community used two of the vehicles.
But Shinkafi said the allegations is malicious, wicked and irresponsible, adding that no sensitive government will aid terrorists to attack, kidnap or kill its citizens.
He stated that Maradun’s allegations are unpatriotic. He added that the former local government chairman is committed to disrupting the good policies and programs of the governor, most especially the ongoing peace and reconciliation process initiated by the governor early last year.
Shinkafi called on the inspector-general of police (IGP) the director-general of the State Security Services to investigate and possibly arrest and prosecute Maradun for public incitement, fake news and inflamatory statement attempts to breach the fragile peace that had been restored to Zamfara State by the Governor Matawalle led administration in the past eighteen months.
Shinkafi gave Sahara Reporters and Maradun a 14 days ultimatum wishing which to retract the malicious statement and publicly apologize in five national newspapers of face court action for breach of peace and circulation of fake news.