Ex-council chair, Ahmad Abubakar accuses Zamfara gov’t of donating Hilux vans to bandits

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A former council chairman of Maradun local government area of Zamfara State, Alhaji Ahmad Abubakar has accused Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle of donating Hilux vans to bandits to carry out their nefarious operations in the State.

Abubakar made the allegation during an interview with Punch pointing out that the recent terror attack on Janbako community, in the Maradun local government area was facilitated by the donation of three new Hilux vans, which the bandits used in their operation, resulting in the killing of 10 innocent villagers.

“On a fateful day, the bandits, who stormed the community in their hundreds, with unnumbered motorbikes were confronted with stiff resistance from the villagers. This sent red signals to the bandits, forcing them to retreat and abandoning one of the Hilux vehicles, loaded with assorted ammunition and three rifles,” he claimed.

He further accused the army and the police of nonchalant attitude, alleging that in most cases they abandoned their constitutional responsibility, only to reappear after the bandits have finished carrying out their atrocities.

Abubakar blamed the media in the State for what he called “failure to report what is actually happening in the State, but only focusing on the issue of insecurity.

“Unfortunately, the working journalists in the state have abandoned the four attributes of the profession which authorized journalists to inform, attack government’s wrong policies, defend the public interest and influence good policies of the government.”

However, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on media and public enlightenment, Hon. Zailani Bappa and made available to newsmen in Gusau, the State’s capital, described the report as sheer mischief.

Bappa reacting to a report made by Sahara Reporters on Tuesday about the Zamfara government donating Hilux vans to “repentant” bandits, noted that the medium joined forces with the enemies of peace to destroy the political dynasty of Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.

According to him, “the report may be either due to carelessness, quackery or sheer mischief; the medium went ahead to publish this mischievous story, which was obviously sourced from the enemies of peace in the state without balancing from the side of the Government.

“To disabuse the minds of the law-abiding and patriotic Nigerians, Mohammed used the meagre resources of the state Government to purchase 200 Hilux vans in support of Security operatives in the state.

“These vehicles were duly distributed to all security agencies in the state under the supervision of the Inspector-General of Police, and the beneficiaries included the Military, the Police, the Customs and Excise, the Immigration Services, the NDLEA, the NSCDC, the FRSC, among others.

“With all the programs of the state government towards peace in the state, there was never a time it gave vehicles or money to the so-called repentant bandits as there was no agreement to such. The report was a wicked allegation and simply a figment of the writer’s imagination or an intended machination to discredit the administration of Bello Muhammad and undermine the peace effort in the State.

“The State government also calls on the Nigerian Military to require Sahara Reporters to substantiate their faceless and distinctly imaginary so-called Military officer source of this story because it borders on peace and is a matter of life and death of innocent citizens or face required discipline.”

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