Monday, October 2, 2023

Buhari ensured I lost reelection for opposing naira redesign policy, dragging him to Supreme Court: Matawalle

“What’s being said is that we went to the court (Supreme Court) over new naira notes redesign. They said myself, Ganduje and El Rufai would be punished accordingly.”

• March 30, 2023
Governor Bello Matawalle and President Muhammadu Buhari
Governor Bello Matawalle and President Muhammadu Buhari

Governor Bello Matawalle has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of punishing him because he opposed his naira redesign policy and joined other governors in filing a suit against him at the Supreme Court.

The Zamfara governor slammed the president for his anti-democratic tendency, accusing him of militarising the March 18 governorship election to ensure that APC did not win in the state, thereby scuttling his reelection.

“And I tell you, they were over 50 soldiers in our polling units in Zamfara. They were even straight about it that those voting for APC would not be allowed to vote. People were harassed and beaten because they wanted to vote for APC,” Mr Matawalle told DW Hausa in a post-election interview. “We all have this evidence on video. When we called soldiers to come to our aid, they didn’t come. But I have left everything to God.”

Dauda Lawal-Dare of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 377,726 votes from the 14 local government areas to defeat Mr Matawalle, who had 311,976 votes. 

The Zamfara governor also slammed Mr Buhari for exhibiting the same vindictiveness towards Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna) and Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano). According to the Zamfara governor, the president should be held responsible for the failure of APC candidates in the states to win the gubernatorial elections.

“When I saw that (the soldiers being sent), I knew they were up to something. That was why it didn’t bother me because I received intelligence report on what they were going to do against me. Not only myself but other governors that did something that is considered wrong,” Mr Matawalle explained. 

He added, “Yes, what’s being said is that we went to the court (Supreme Court) over new naira notes redesign. They said myself, Ganduje and El Rufai would be punished accordingly.”

The governor alleged that Mr Buhari ordered the deployment of 300 vehicles filled with soldiers in Zamara three days before the election.

“We have security challenges in Zamfara state, and we’ve been asking them to send soldiers to us, but they didn’t. But three days to the election (gubernatorial), they sent over 300 vehicles conveying soldiers into Zamfara,” Mr Matawalle claimed. “Such a high number of soldiers. If they could send them to us to fight insecurity, it would be better. But they only sent them during elections.”

The president’s media aides, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, declined to comment on the Zamfara governor’s allegations.

Mr Shehu sent a terse message, “Thanks,” when Peoples Gazette requested comments on the matter.

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