BY YUSUF IDRIS GUSAU
As the Nigerian 10th Senate and by extension the National Assembly through its chairman and Senate President, Godswill Akpabio commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for nominating a “veteran politician of integrity” in Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle into the incoming National Executive Council of the Tinubu-led administration, there is no iota of doubt that the nomination of the Zamfara state nominee and immediate past Governor is well deserved.
Matawalle who has very good and responsible national leaders including former and serving members of both the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly cutting across all regions of the country as good friends of long standing, has demonstrated that he is a unifying leader who always has the passion of progressive Nigeria in him.
While at the National Assembly to pass through the rigorous marathon screening by the distinguished senators on Friday, August 4, the senators who made a full house in attendance made up of all political party representation were not in a hurry to ask Matawalle to “take a bow and go,” like is done to their former colleagues nor did they take him through the usual intimidating questions, but after he humbly introduced himself without any pride in presenting his resumè, they felt like keeping him around so that they would continue to talk, exchanging pleasantries with the Zamfara current leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC.
In the whole, Senate President Akpabio called him an “honourable gentleman politician” who has not lost touch with his colleagues and concluding the session with “if it is the view of the Senate of the 10th Assembly to formally thank President Tinubu for nominating one of us, Matawalle into the Federal Executive Council,” to which all the members echoed ‘aye.’
Similarly, the Chief Whip and Senator Ali Ndume who has been a close alli of Matawalle’s jokingly said many of the members share a lot in common with the nominee urging the Senate President to allow Matawalle to take a bow and go. While the Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin maintained that Matawalle having paid his dues at the National Assembly and as governor of Zamfara state, expressed passion for his country and that he is confident that Matawalle will do his best as minister of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Both Kawu Sumaila and Abdulaziz Musa ‘Yaradua eulogized Matawalle’s patience, his wonderful effort in curtailing armed banditry in the northwest and for being a versatile politician who distinguished himself to be copied by others.
While the former Governor and Matawalle’s predecessor, Senator Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar announced that all the three senators from Zamfara had unanimously endorsed Matawalle, have confidence in his capacity and ability and thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for making the best choice from Zamfara.
Interestingly and in a demonstration of good political sportsmanship, in spite of the fact that while two of the Senators from Zamfara are from the APC, former governor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar and three times Senator Sahabi Ya’u, the third Senator Ikra Aliyu Bilbis from the opposition PDP joined and supported the nomination of Matawalle who was roundly appraised and commended for bringing relative peace in the bandits ridden hitherto peaceful state of Zamfara when he served as governor.
Encomiums, jokes, and well wishes within and outside the National Assembly trailed Matawalle’s nomination at a time when Zamfara people, especially members and supporters of the APC are yearning for his leadership.
He has shown his political acumen in all his dealings and even when bandits laid siege on the state when they made it their hub and unleashing terror on innocent Nigerians, Matawalle offered a ‘carrot and stick’ option of negotiations to them which made many of them to denounce banditry and support the administration and security operatives in fighting those who refused to surrender, lay down and handover their weapons to the authorities.
On the political scene, Matawalle was able to bring back peace in the APC which was almost torn apart and he ensured that no member was aggrieved, a situation that made the Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory overwhelming in the northwest geopolitical zone in the last presidential election and during which Matawalle served as the zone’s Presidential Campaign Coordinator.
Surely Matawalle, who was charged by Yari Abubakar to be a good representative from Zamfara and encouraged by the first military governor of the state, Col. Jibrin Bala Yakubu (rtd) to continue to be steadfast will not disappoint Zamfara state, Nigeria or Nigerians when he is ultimately sworn in as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria soon by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Idris is the Zamfara state APC Publicity Secretary