The Minister of Defense (state), Dr. Muhammad Bello Matawalle has reacted to the recent allegations by the current governor of Zamfara state, Dauda Lawal Dare about his past government, clearing that the governor is after him because he rejected his attempt to scam him while he was governor.
Matawalle who is the immediate past governor of the state said he has done his best for the state, and the current governor is angry and envying his ministerial position. He added that he has done some things in the past that made Dauda angry, which made him cook allegations against him.
Speaking to DCL Hausa in an interview, the Minister said instead of spreading fake allegations, the governor should focus his attention on finding lasting solutions to the problems of the state, as he rightly did during his tenure.
“I didn’t intend to talk about these issues, but it has become necessary for people to know. He is mounting pressure to just blackmail me, not knowing that I have laid a foundation that can never be destroyed in both Zamfara state and the National level. We have done our best for the state in the past four years and the good people of the state can attest to that,” the Defense Minister said.
The former governor further disclosed that he had trusted Dauda Lawal with some projects while he was the governor of Zamfara State, but “He deceived and cheated on me and the state.”
‘Why Lawal Dare is after me’
According to him, the main reason why the present governor is angry with him is because he (Governor Lawal Dauda) attempted to hijack some contracts to supply fertilizer and bank loans to the state when the minister was the governor.
“Lawal Dare (Dauda) came to me when I was the governor that he brought a bank that will give us a loan of N30 billion. But at the end he connived and collected N300 million from the bank as a commission, which was later confiscated by EFCC.
“He also came to me that he wanted to supply fertilizer to me and we signed a contract of over N4 billion. But for over seven months he couldn’t. He later told me that he doesn’t have money and a certificate. I gave him a certificate but still he couldn’t. Yet, I also agreed that he should bring 120 trailers at the cost of N504 million, but he couldn’t,” he said.
Matawalle added that, “That time he could only bring 10 trailers and had been disturbing that I should give him money, but I refused because I wanted him to supply the whole fertilizer before we could settle him. But to my surprise, after distributing the fertilizer, it was discovered that he just mixed sand with chemicals. Which meant he deceived us. This was the beginning of our problem with him.”
The minister added that another major issue between them is how he emerged as Minister of Defense, he explained that Dauda Lawal did not want him to get this position and thus has been mounting allegations and accusations against him ever since.
“He is angry that I am now a minister, not knowing that I have gone far. I am a minister and I will focus my attention on delivering my assigned responsibilities. All my life I don’t have time to fight or belong to where I am not needed. That is why I didn’t want to talk about him, but I have to because the noise is too much. I have to let the world know what is actually happening,” he added.
Focus on Zamfara and stop playing our people
Matawalle further advised the state governor to stop deceiving his people and requested he should focus on his primary assignment of leading the state and ensuring that the security of life of the people of Zamfara state.
“Instead of spreading lies against me, Lawal Dauda should focus on the state. He should cooperate with the security personnel in finding lasting solutions to the security challenges bedeviling our dear state. This is what I did in my tenure.
“We all know what is happening in our state for a long time. Both of us inherited challenges of security, but our focus should all be on ending it. I have been nice to him. Even when he became the governor, I prayed for him to be the reason for finding lasting solutions to the security challenges in our state.”
According to Matawalle, “We all love Zamfara state that is why we want to support him. We are after the development of the state. So I think it is high time that he should concentrate on the state, not spreading mere allegations and rumors.
“For someone who said he loves Zamfara state, he is not staying in the state. I have been staying there despite the security challenges. Anytime there is a problem he will be nowhere to be found in the state. Even in the recent crisis, we attempted to go to the state, but when we called him, he told us he is in the US. At a time when you are facing security challenges, but you are busy touring Europe.”
He debunked other allegations by the governor on the claims of spending sums on Airport, education, Ruga and some road projects across the state, as well as the recent medicines that arrived the state that were earlier purchased by the Matwalle administration.
“There was a time when Zamfara was the last in education, but during my tenure we were able to improve and became fourteenth. We all have the records. We know how he destroyed our roads and other legacies mainly to paint us black in the mind of Zamfara people. What are all these? Doesn’t he have projects to do for the state?
“Dauda let me tell you that Matawalle is a minister. You cannot remove me from the position, and you cannot force someone to remove me either. Everything has its time. I want to advise you to go and work for the people of Zamfara state. Stop spending their money unnecessarily.”