The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has blamed his failure to gain a second term in office on his resistance to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency redesign strategy.
In the March 18 governorship election in Zamfara State, Matawalle of the All Progressives Congress was defeated by Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The governor said in an interview with DW Hausa on Thursday, “What’s being said is that we went to the court over new naira notes redesign. They said myself, Ganduje and El-Rufai would be punished accordingly.”
Furthermore, he was enraged that more military men were deployed to Zamfara State for the elections than when bandits controlled the state.
“We have had 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 (governorship) election, they sent over 300 vehicles conveying soldiers into Zamfara. 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 governor accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s (retd.) dictatorship of intimidating Zamfara voters into voting for the opposition party, the PDP, through significant military presence.
“There were over 50 soldiers in our polling unit in Zamfara. They were even straight about it that those voting for APC would not be allowed to vote.
“When I saw that (the heavy deployment of soldiers), 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.
“People were harassed and beaten because they wanted to vote for the APC. 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,” Matawalle said.
Despite his defeat, he stated that the win of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, was sufficient consolation for him.
“We delivered Zamfara State for the APC during the presidential election. But we lost the governorship. Nevertheless, we are happy about his emergence. If he didn’t win it would have been more painful for us. But I am not worried at all,” he said.
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