A Non Governmental Organization (NGO), the Centre for Sustainable Peace and Development, has described as hoax and lie from the pit of hell, the allegations that Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, was using an aircraft to take out gold and bring in arms and ammunitions for bandits.
The group, in a statement issued in Abuja, accused the presidency of orchestrating the fake news all in the bid to intimidate and frustrate the peace efforts of the Mattawalle administration.
It further faulted the allegation that the federal government had uncovered plots by some individuals to sabotage the implementation of the presidential directive banning gold exploration and the no fly zone order in Zamfara state, noting that the State has no airport or airstrip.
The group’s Executive Director, Dr. Bello Usman Abdul Ganiyu, in the statement, insisted that there is no such plot, arguing that the presidency is constantly raising the alarm where there is none all in the bid to cover shady deals and create impression of tension in Zamfara State.
“How can there be a plot to sabotage the no fly zone? When Zamfara State does not have an airport or airstri. Our attention has drawn to a very misleading and malicious information peddled to the effect that the from the Governor Of Zamfara State, Bello Mattawalle, has been using an aircraft to transport gold out of Zamafara State in exchange for arms and ammunition for Bandits.
“This malicious and wicked allegations is sponsored to blackmail and intimidate the Governor of Zamfara State for his selfish agenda.Ordinarily, we would not have responded to this unfounded allegations but for the fact that if the facts are not presented it would look as the truth,” Abdul Ganiyu noted.
He further pointed out that; “It is important to note that those involved and their cronies own many mining sites in many states of the federation with Exploration License number EL28121 & EL 27820 and many others. They use so many companies as conduit pipes in these nefarious illegal mining activities.
“With vast network of companies dealing in illegal mining across the Country, those behind in the bid to extend their tentacles to Zamfara State sent cronies to Governor Mattawalle to allow their companies to begin to engage in their illegal mining activities in Zamfara State.
“It was the refusal of the Zamfara State Governor to allow this illegal activity in the State that irked them and their cronies as the Governor had insisted that he must get his approval from the President or the Ministry of Mines and Solid Minerals Development.
“With the refusal of the Governor to accede to the demands the presidency declared a total war on Zamfara State and Governor Mattawalle for his selfish and evil desires.
“In spite of higher degree of armed robbery, kidnapping, armed banditry and cultism going on for several years, no Fly Zone was declared in Nasarawa State. If the federal government is serious about tackling insecurity and banning illegal mining in the country, Nasarawa State should be declared a No Fly Zone and all mining activities in the state stopped forthwith.
“We call on the Department of State Services (DSS), the EFCC and Indepedent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) to conduct a discreet investigation and search on the ownership of the mining companies,” the group appealed in the statement.