By Umar Farouk, Ifeanyi Chukwu Nwannah
The recent request by Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State for the Federal Government to pay him back a whooping sum of N13 Billion being the money he claimed to have spent on security in his State since 2011 has brought into sharp focus the minds and thinking of the Nigeria populace and even the political pundits. That claim has indeed become a public issue. Not only is it a laughable claim but he has shot himself at the foot by exposing to the whole world his weakness as the number one security officer that the insecurity situation in a small state with only 14 Local Governments and four million people seems endless even after claiming that he spent a huge amount like that yet the situation still remain the same if not worst. In fact he has dazzled the whole world with his laughable claim and greed.
So, the claim according to observers of the security situation in the State has tensed up the whole State and brought back fresh memories of hidden agenda on practical issues of security in the State apart from other salient issues he has failed to address which they said many forces have been playing the role of criticisms from the back stage. Where then are the Zamfara’s think tanks? In fact the claim has been generating a lot of confusions and public comments and what even the political pundits and observers call political irresponsiveness. They said one can deduce the serious problems that have inflicted the Sharia State and how severe it is for a living in such condition.
According to an observer, the Governor should have instead found tangible lies to give and a device to curtail such disgraceful menace which has almost destroyed the spirit of the state, saying that no nation or state can make any distinctive progress when its populace are living in perpetual fears on daily basis due to constant crimes, blood baths and mayhems.
As another person said, even if the claimed N13 Billion is given to him by the Federal Government, he would only use it to tour the whole globe and waste it when the state has no single progress on even communication and information to write home about, pointing out that the state’s radio has little airing time with poor coverage network which he noted that more than half of the State knows nothing on its services drawing the attention of this reporter to understand that for the past three years, the State newspaper, “week by legacy” have been closed down by the same Governor Abdulaziz Yari.
Continuing, the source who does not want his name in print maintained that there are so many burning issues that have sparked outrages among Nigerians, such as the auctioning of the State Government properties because of the government’s refusal to pay back the N502 Million loan it took from the Unity Bank in 2010, unpaid entitlements of the State pensioners, misappropriation of the funds from Paris Club, yet to be paid salaries of 1400 graduates the State Government employed since 2012 and many more, issues that are democratically unacceptable in a democratic set up.
According to him, the issue on ground concerning merciless killings, blood baths and mayhems may not be unconnected, with the Governor’s refusal to fulfill the alleged promises he made to the unemployed youth who worked for his victory in 2011 which he said has been the main reason why the helpless youths had to pick up arms to revolt, stressing that the resultant calamity has ignited and is now setting the whole State ablaze. He noted that suspicions about the blood baths have developed in the minds of the citizens.
The source further stated that Zamfara citizens have put into exhibition the wounds being inflicted into their hearts by such dastard acts since 2011. Then where are Zamfara’s think tanks? he asked. He noted that the escalating tensions and mayhems in the State suppose to be the priority of the Governor rather than making such laughable request, he said.
“It is obvious that for quite a long, men of the underworld have been casting deadly spells on the innocent citizens in various parts of the State. The problem has become so severe that the rate and mercilessness with which armed bandits kill, maim and loot properties of innocent citizens has surpassed the killings in the North East Zone, Boko Haram dominated areas”.
It could be recalled that when the Governor presented his 2017 budget proposal at the floor of the State House of Assembly, he mentioned that the 2016 budget recorded only 46 percent performance due to the insecurity situation in the State. But the question on the lips of observers and everyone is why should there be high rate of crimes in the State if N13 Billion was actually spent on security yet the whole situation is becoming worst by the day even after government claims it had a peace accord with the armed bandits?.
It is therefore a pity that after spending such huge sums of money, the Governor is claiming the State is still under siege as armed bandits continue to let loose gory episodes in almost every part of the State. The armed bandits are still unleashing terror and promoting their inhuman acts, defying all legitimate businesses of innocent citizens.
Nobody, not even the Governor can pretend that the State is undoubtedly in need of public sympathy and security support. It is expected that the Governor should be pleading to the federal Government to as a matter of necessity and urgency provide more coordinated security network rather than focusing his lenses on the billions he hopes to get from the Nation’s treasury. Everybody is very much aware that insecurity is a chilling drama in Zamfara State that seems to be endless as the citizens are constantly on the defensive while the government is helpless.
It is obvious that the State has been grappling with the problems of insecurity since 2011 of which it looks like the end is not at sight. The Governor knows in his mind that the State in his tenure is witnessing upsurge of crimes and insecurity under various senses, in various fashions which calls for public attention.
As the claim has been generating public comments and condemnations, Nigerians see the claim of the Governor as a direct invitation for other State Governors to come up with their own claims thereby betraying the Buhari’s war against corruption. The general believe is that if the federal government should grant such dubious claim, the war against corruption would only be an empty national propaganda that can be through into another waste paper basket.