From Abba Kabara, Gusau.
“Current happenings in the country have made it imperative for me as a political leader and a proud Northerner to issue this important statement” this is a verbertum pronouncement by the governor of Zamfara state Hon. Bello Muhammad Matawalle in response to a recent nerve shaking London incidence when some Nigerian students were allegedly said to have been sponsored to cast open abuse on the personality of their president Mr. Mmuhammad Buhari.
“This is not the time to play politics or to play to the gallery but to tell ourselves the real truth”, he said, explaining that for Nigeria to prosper as a nation every citizen must strive to avert the situation of anarchy some disgruntled, unpatriotic Nigerians want to drag the nation into.
In a strongly worded statement sighed by himself and posted to a special Media platform, governor Matawalle said considering the general pattern of Nigeria’s ‘politics without conscience’ the public may expect such statement from a governor or a leader of the APC but he chooses to make the statement as a proud and bonafide member of the opposition PDP for the sake of the national unity, peace and in the overall interest of the North in particular and the nation in general.
Matawalle noted with disappointment that so much is happening to the North and Northerners, so bad that their lives, dignity and possessions are being threatened by the unfriendly South “even as we try as Northern leaders, to always calm the situation and to ensure the protection of the business interests, lives and dignity of all southerners living in the North”
The governor noted with regret that, despite what Northerners today are experiencing in many parts of the South West and South East in particular, “all we hear is the conspiracy of silence from Northern leaders, Northern elites that supposed to stand firm the manner other leaders of the South are doing even when they know that their people are at fault”, stressing that this must not continue.
As Northern leaders, “our ‘dignified’ silence in the face of constant provocation and attacks in our desire for peace MUST not be taken as a sign of weakness as no community, no region has the monopoly of violence”, he cautioned.
He warns that If Northerners and their means of livelihood will not be protected, accommodated and be dignified anywhere they chose to live in any part of the South, “Southerners should NOT expect such reciprocal protection from the North as the North has more than what it takes to respond to any kind of aggression and hatred”, he cried out.
He said Northerners have seen the destruction, the killings and the devastation recently at Sasha Market against North and their economic interests when their Properties worth billions of Naira were lost in addition to human lives “yet some leaders in the South West are downplaying the atrocities committed or at best justifying it”, expressing worry that Some of them have shamefully gone to the extent of apportioning blames on the victims and casualties of their aggression”, he laments.
He recalls that Last Sunday’s killings of innocent Northerners in Imo is one too many and no matter how we love peace, leaders with conscience and fear of God MUST speak out against this continued barbarism and hatred. “If that is allowed to continue we will not take that any longer as NO human life is better than another. No business interest is better than another. In fact, in crisis situation, the South has more to lose in terms of its business interests in the North and the strategic nature they established themselves in the North than Northerners living in the South. The North is very much aware of such weaknesses and disadvantages the South is exposed to whenever there is such crisis but we always chose the path of peace and cherish peace beyond any act of lawlessness and hatred.
Simple statistics on instances of unprovoked attacks against Northerners and their economic interests in the South in recent times can tell who is more tolerant, accommodating and peaceful between criminal elements and their backers that are well known in sponsoring such hatred and attacks against Northerners in the South.
“Sadly, we all can identify the thugs, the instigators of such xenophobic attacks. They are very much known and visible in spreading their messages of hatred, incitement and provocation but unfortunately they and their leaders have continued to blackmail the federal government while government seems to be succumbing to such acts of blackmail, allowing them to live like kings and even bluntly refusing legitimate invitation by the Police”, he said.
He continues to say that “Nigeria is ONE. Whoever doesn’t want to believe in the current constitution, which is so far the legal and legitimate instrument behind our existence, should park and live the country as we will not tolerate any form of intimidation any longer””, he issues the sound of warning.
Even though he is a PDP Governor serving his first term in office, he said he doesn’t believe seeking for position of authority or seeking to retain it is a do or die affair or something that will silence the Northern leaders to ignore reality and not to stand by their people in the face of constant provocation and attacks.
As a Northerner, “I condemn in strongest term how in the same manner of hatred President Muhammadu Buhari was treated by so called protesters that could not hide their disdain and hatred for the North. Their action no matter their grievances is uncivilized, highly irresponsible, unpatriotic, disregarding and disrespectful to the person and office of the President and has demonstrated the growing hatred against anything North”, he concludes.