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Dauda Lawal, Matawalle express readiness to fight insecurity in Zamfara

Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara, and Bello Matawalle, minister of state for defence, have expressed their readiness to work together to fight insecurity in the state.

Lawal and Matawalle, also a former governor of Zamfara, spoke on Wednesday after a two-day roundtable meeting on insecurity in northern Nigeria organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups.

Matawalle served as governor of Zamfara from 2019 to 2023.

He lost his re-election bid in the last elections to Lawal, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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In March 2023, Matawalle said he lost the election due to his stance against the naira redesign policy.

He said over 300 vehicles filled with soldiers were sent to Zamfara for the election, adding that people “were beaten up and prevented from voting” for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Matawalle was one of the governors who instituted a suit against the naira redesign policy initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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On June 12, the supreme court affirmed Lawal as the validly elected governor of Zamfara.

While speaking with reporters, the governor of Zamfara said it is time to keep politics aside and come together with his predecessor for the development of the state.

“People are saying if we are truly willing to work with together, then politics should be kept aside,” Lawal said.

“I am the governor, I have power. But like you all know, a governor does not have control over the police or military, they are all under the federal government.

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“Therefore, if we truly mean business, then there must be an understanding between both of us in order to make the lives of residents of Zamfara state better.”

On his part, Matawalle said he would work with his successor to fight insecurity in Zamfara.

He said his portfolio as a defence minister would go a long way in helping to improve the security situation in the state.

“Insecurity is a problem that a person cannot say he alone can bring an end to. We should keep praying and also cleanse our hearts,” Matawalle said.

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“While I was governor, I never got to speak with the minister of defence on the phone till I finished my four years.

“Today, I am a defence minister, and it will go a long way in helping to improve the security situation in Zamfara.”

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