Not a few citizens of Zamfara State were taken aback when the opposition PDP in the State decided to chose the way of lies and deceit in attacking the APC-led government of Governor Bello Matawallen Maradun in one of its recent publications in Vanguard, Daily Trust, and the Nation Newspapers.
Though as opposition, they are allowed to make a holistic review of our stewardship and present it for public judgement, as political party they are not expected to lay foundation with lies and deceit because instead of succeeding in castigating the government, they will rather put fear in the mindset of the public regarding their sincerity to governance.
In my last article published in Daily Trust, I pointed out clearly the crises with the PDP and why it can’t win election in Zamfara State and these facts presented have not change for now. I expected them to join issues and tell us how things have changed against my submission but instead they started beating around the bush.
As for me, I will go their path by picking all issues they raised against the government of APC one by one and counter it on the basis of fact for anyone to verify but they should also take note that they still have to respond to our fact on whether or not they are really battling with leadership crises as a party and whether if it is true they can’t win election in Zamfara come 2023.
Before I go deep to bring down their lies and deceit to the waterway, let me remind readers that, one of the reasons why Matawalle decided to abandon the PDP and join the winning team in the APC was because PDP does not believe in reality and the party’s ideologies are not about fate of the citizens rather than self-enrichment of the few.
Now that he has left the party, they believe they have to go extra mile to castigate his long celebrated achievements which they are even blind to see and appreciate.
Let’s take education for instance, at the inception of Matawalle government, within the first one hundred days Matawalle released over N3bn to the State Universal Basic Education Board as matching grants to UBEC counterpart funds that were dormant for years.
This singular effort resulted to the construction of over 1,000 units of classrooms as well over 100 additional blocks with office and toilet facilities across the LGAs in the State.
He ensured the reinstatement of 500 teachers already employed and neglected by his predecessor for months and also ensured that their salary arears were paid.
He fixed and completely renovated Muallayadi Day School in Maradun and upgraded its facilities and set up a state of the art ICT Center for its students.
He did the same for Science School Shinkafi which is currently undergoing total renovation and upgrading with additional blocks of classrooms and ICT facilities.
Under the Matawalle-led state government, Unity Gummi, GDSS Tsafe, GTC Kaura and the rest have been earmarked for repair and upgrading and the initiative has reached the final stage of completion.
The governor within his first one hundred days in office also initiated his way to secure grant of N1billion for the smooth take-off of the State University at Talatar Mafara from TETFund and also appointed principal officers for the university.
He also set up a committee to review the entire academic and administrative architecture of the University and come up with a complete strategy that will ensure smooth take-off of the state-owned University.
Under the existing plan, a sum of N5bn had been provided for the committee to ensure balance in the allocation of resources to the university. The governor has also provided vehicles and also instructed the Ministry of Finance to settle all outstanding liabilities of the visiting lecturers.
The governor also expended between three to four billion naira to support the State College of Education, Polytechnic, School of Nursing and College of Health Sciences.
Now, is the Zamfara State chapter of the PDP not aware that Matawalle has invested heavily in infrastructural revolution in the State’s School of Nursing to ensure its migration to a full-fledged College and the Ministry of Health had also unveiled its financial plans for the massive infrastructural revolution in the School of Nursing?
The governor is also expending about a billion naira to finance the take-off of another School of Nursing in Zurmi. A site has been allocated and funds have been provided while a committee to ensure the smooth take-off of the school has been set-up.
Coming back to human resource development, the Matawalle administration has done well in making sure that all promotion for teachers are implemented and salaries of the teachers are paid uninterrupted since his assumption in office.
Government has spent millions of naira to finance 200 indigenes of Zamfara to Cyprus, India and Sudan to study engineering, medicine, nursing and other science-related courses.
In the health sector, Matawalle has done well by providing additional 145 primary healthcare centers and also renovated and upgraded many of the existing ones.
He recruited 500 health workers in his first year in office and additional 500 during his third year in office.
He also recruited over 150 medical doctors while he funded the completion of Shinkafi Referral Hospital which was started by the previous administration of Mahmuda Shinkafi in 2009.
He has passionately taken the bold step of not only renovating General Hospital Mafara but upgraded it to the status of a Specialist Hospital and also ordered that the project be completed before the end of his first tenure.
On assumption of office, he completely renovated General Hospital Kagara in Talatar Mafara and that of Birnin Magaji including the construction of brand new Doctor’s and Nursing quarters.
He is currently undertaking the total renovation of General Hospital Gummi, Tsafe, King Fahad Ibn Abdul Aziz Hospital, Farida Specialist Hospital and that of Bakura.
He has launched the distribution of ambulances to all the 23 secondary health facilities and also provided 145 Tricycle Ambulances for the primary healthcare centers.
He has invested heavily in setting up one of the best Covid-19 treatment centers in Nigeria with state of the art facilities and ensured that Zamfara was among the frontline states that worked harder to ensure that the Covid-19 pandemic did not harm the socio-economic development of the state.
Coming to the area of security, I think it is only the PDP that is blind and will boldly say nothing is done to manage the inherent security situation rocking the state.
The governor within his first one hundred days in office distributed 200 operational vehicles and visited security chiefs and Mr President in Abuja for so many number of times to agree on common modalities to end the social conflict facing the state.
He also came up with the idea of RUGA and set up two prototypes in order to ensure that Fulani herdsmen are made to be comfortable as citizens of the state.
He has provided funding to security agencies and supported them with additional reinforcement of the local vigilantes, all to ensure that security is restored back.
When things went out of hand, the governor mooted idea of self-defense and took the most appropriate steps of making sure that weapons are legitimately issued to citizens and groups to support the existing effort of conventional security outfits.
Because the security situation is not peculiar to Zamfara State, the governor sometimes last year took the bold steps of shutting down telecommunication services in order to preempt the activities of the bandits’ informants. And the same supporters of the PDP kept putting unnecessary pressures to do otherwise despite the fact that the measures were yielding the desired results.
Coming to agriculture, though the insecurity is doing harm than good to our farmers, however, the government has never been relaxed in doing the needful to ensure food security.
Since inception of the Matawalle administration, it has sustained the culture of issuing fertilisers to local farmers at subsidised prices and also providing agro-allied facilities.
This year alone, the government is planning to distribute close to 1,000 trucks of assorted fertilizers to local farmers and it is also making efforts to ensure that the needed security is provided for the farmers to access their farms through the recently employed Community Protection Guards (CPG).
It will be interesting to remind the PDP that this administration has taken the giant step of reviving the Zamfara Poultry Production Company and now eggs are being produced and sold to the citizens on subsidised prices.
An approval was also issued to begin poultry production in large scales so that our poultry farmers must not go to Kaduna or Ibadan before accessing day-old broiler or layer chickens.
In the area of job creation, the PDP is not aware that for the first time in Zamfara, this administration has graduated over 10,000 people who were trained on various skill acquisition programmes and through the Ministry of Commerce, a grant of over a billion naira was distributed to young skillful entrepreneurs to start their businesses.
Through the Bank of Industry and Covid-19 intervention fund, thousands of young entrepreneurs were also empowered to start their businesses and even recently, the development resulted to empowering over 1,000 people with various business loans.
It is on this premise I challenge the Zamfara PDP to instead of resorting to misleading the public, to concentrate in supporting the state government initiatives aimed at bringing lasting peace to Zamfara State.
When it is time for politics, APC would face Zamfara people and give report of its stewardship but it is unfortunate that the PDP is hellbent on using lies and deceit to gain support of the people, however, Zamfara people are wiser.