EXPOSED: How Tinubu’s Minister Designate Donated 15 Hilux Vehicles, Millions Of Naira To Bandits
One of those nominated by President Bola Tinubu for ministerial positions, Bello Matawalle donated about 15 brand new Hilux vehicles to leaders of ‘repentant’ gangs of bandits while serving as governor of Zamfara state.
The Senate on Monday confirmed 45 ministerial nominees including Matawalle.
It, however, deferred the confirmation of three nominees whom it said were awaiting security clearance.
Those affected are the former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, a former senator from Taraba, Sani Danladi, and a nominee from Delta State, Stella Okotete.
Matawalle served as governor of Zamfara from 2019 till 2023.
He was defeated by Dauda Lawal Dare of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
In 2021, exclusively reported how the Matawalle gave brand new Hilux vehicles to some ‘repentant’ bandits.
According to the multiple sources, the bandits used some of the vehicles given to them by the former governor for operations.
Some of the beneficiaries were Na Shama, Sani Shaidan, Mohammadu Bello Halilu and Bage Waye. Other bandit kingpins who got the vehicles were identified as Kachalla, Ado, Busniya, Dunbulu and Gajere.
It was also revealed that the former governor approved millions of naira to be given to the ‘repentant’ bandits as compensation.
The Zamfara State government under Matawalle in 2019 entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.
But despite the accord, communities in the state were frequently attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.
“Those bandits have different groups, so if they say they repent, the governor will give them a Hilux vehicle but unfortunately they are now using the vehicles to carry out attacks,” a top military officer familiar with the negotiation had told SaharaReporters.
“On Sunday (in 2021), they attacked Jankara but were resisted by the local vigilantes, so they fled and left one of those Hilux vehicles and the motorcycles they came with behind.
“It’s so sad, he called it peace and reconciliation programme, but all you need to be rich now in Zamfara is to take up arms against the people.”
Zamfara, like other North-West states, has faced devastating attacks from armed bandits for years.
A committee set up to investigate the menace of armed banditry in the region, headed by Mohammed Abubakar, a former Inspector General of Police, reported that in Zamfara State between June 2011 and May 2019, 4,983 women were widowed; 25,050 children were orphaned; and more than 190,000 people were displaced as a result of armed banditry.