One year in office: CSO passes vote of no confidence on Zamfara gov

Zamfara Initiative for Good Governance has passed a vote of no confidence on Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara state.

The group said he has failed to fulfill his election promises to the people on security, health, agriculture, education, civil service, women and youth empowerment.

The group in a press release signed by the chairman of the Initiative, Hon Lawal Usman Mohammed, observed that Governor Lawal is overwhelmed by the burden of leadership and adopts a trial and error style of governance that has caused enormous hardship on the people and waste of scare resources.

The group said during his campaign for governor, Lawal promised to provide security in the state within his 100 days in office, one year after Zamfara state is under siege of armed bandits who daily terrorise the 14 Local Government Areas of the state including Gusau, the state capital kidnapping people for ransom, killings, cattle rustling, rape, imposition of levies and taxes before farmers could cultivate their lands, displacement of citizens from their communities and destruction of property.

“In a misplaced priority, Governor Lawal goes on frequent foreign trips in search of elusive investors full aware that the state is not safe for commercial activities let alone attracting foreign investors, thus wasting tax payers money. Today, the number of people kidnapped, killed and displaced from their ancestral homes in one year surpasses those affected in the past 12 years of banditry in Zamfara State. More than 1.6 million people are internally displaced out of a population of 6 million citizens.

“The fight against banditry is carried out with a kid’s glove as the governor could not fund and equip the Community Protection Guards he inaugurated few months ago rendering them redundant, just as adequate logistics is not provided to security agencies in the state to crush these criminal elements in synergy with the Federal Government.

“Sadly, Zamfara state has become the headquarters of bandits resulting to hunger and poverty as the people cannot access their farmlands and carry out commercial activities. This negates Section 14(2)b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, which provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.

“We urge Governor Lawal to sit up and take governance seriously as he is not only accountable to the people, he is also accountable to God. The reign of terror in the state must stop. The good people of Zamfara State desire and deserve a new lease of life, security, prosperity and development.

“The governor recently advertised his “legacy projects” in which he invited dignitaries to commission including the Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Umar Damagum, General Aliyu Gusau, former Governors Ahmed Yarima Bakura and Mahmood Aliyu Shinkafi.

“The truth is that they are not new projects, mere whitewash, renovated, reconstructed and remodeled roads, hospitals and schools which were constructed and commissioned by previous administrations. They did not warrant such elaborate ceremonies and waste of public funds commissioning then as if they were entirely new projects.

“They include Lalam road, Central Police Station roundabout to Bello Barau road, Bello Barau roundabout to Government House, Central Police Station roundabout to new Motor Park, Investment House roundabout to Government House road, were all constructed and commissioned by previous administrations in the state. The whitewash of these public facilities and roads does not in any stretch of the imagination amount to construction of projects that require elaborate ceremonies in a state under bandits siege.

“It is unfortunate that former Governor Ahmed Sani Yarima Bakura joined in the conspiracy to mislead the public by re-commissioning the School of Agriculture, Bakura, the institution he established, constructed and commissioned in his home town as governor of Zamfara State. To re-commission same institution 17 years after he left office is unacceptable and a waste of state funds amidst unprecedented insecurity and poverty.

“The Almajiri schools which the governor commissioned were fully funded by the Federal Government’s Almajiri Schools Scheme at Gumi, Gusau and Kaura Namoda. They were Federal Government’s projects not state government as Lawal portrayed them.

“It is important to note that all the projects Governor Dauda Lawal claimed that he executed in his one year in office particularly the renovation of primary and secondary schools under Zamfara State Education Board were funded by the Federal Government’s Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA), they were not funded by the state government.

“The renovation, reconstruction and expansion of Zamfara State Secretariat was done by previous government without publicity as normal public service that did not call for ceremonies to squander state resources, and others, ” the group said.