From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Movement for the Restoration of Peace in Zamfara State, a pressure group, has expressed concerns over the safety of Zamafara State Governor Bello Matawalle, warning of a plot to assassinate him.
The concerned group has appealed to the heads of security agencies in the country to beef up security around the governor.
In a statement it issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the group alleged that after a failed bid to remove the governor by coercing President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in Zamfara State, the fifth columnist are now deploying intimidation, subterfuge and blackmail.
It alerted that the plot has gotten to the extent of circulating fake videos of an aircraft, which from investigations show a Hawker Siddley 125 business jet that landed on a very rough strip in Guatemala on January 27, 2020, used in drug-running, suggesting that the same plane was used to supply arms to bandits and ferry gold out of Zamafara.
The group further claims that the viral video is being used to blackmail the Zamfara governor in his efforts to restore the security of lives and property through his peace initiative accord.
A statement by the convener of the group, Malam Mohammad Lawan Usman, reads:
‘After the failed bid to coerce President Buhari into declaring a state of emergency in Zamfara State, the plots to assassinate Governor Matawalle has thickened. Information available to us clearly indicated that a fifth columnist is in operation at the nation’s highest security cycle.
‘We have it on good authority that the governor of Zamfara State is under surveillance with the bid to take him out. Intelligence available to us indicates that the nation’s security has been seriously compromised and the recent outburst of very senior security personnel of the government is a case in point that has shown that all is not well with the nation’s security architecture. There is an urgent need for President Buhari to authorize a discreet investigation and deep soul searching.’
Usman added that ‘the security of our governors should not be in doubt, but in this case it is not guaranteed since we are in the endangered axis. Such heavy concerns coming from a sitting governor cannot be easily dismissed as it is an indirect allusion.
‘By the trending pictures, it has become obvious that the fifth columnists are determined to tar the governor all in the bid to pull him down at all cost. Available information reaching us from high a ranking security officer is that security personnel are monitoring Governor Bello Matawalle’s daily movements.
‘Prеnѕа Lіbrе Guаtеmаlа rероrtеd thаt Guаtеmаlаn аrmу оffісіаlѕ dіѕсоvеrеd а nаrсо-јеt, twо vеhісlеѕ thаt trаnѕроrtеd thе drugѕ аnd fіrеаrmѕ іn Реtеn. According tо thе rероrtѕ, thе аrmу fоund 16 расkаgеѕ оf ѕuѕресtеd сосаіnе іn thе bасk оf а рісkuр truсk іn Ѕаn Аndrеѕ, Реtеn. Аuthоrіtіеѕ іn Реtеn аlѕо fоund аn АК-47 іnѕіdе thе vеhісlе.’
Usman cautioned that should Governor Matawalle meet any misfortune, the group knows who to hold responsible.