Real reasons have emerged why the incumbent Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, is fighting tooth and nail to have his anointed aspirant emerge as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress and eventual winner of the 2019 gubernatorial election, THISDAY can authoritatively report.
THISDAY checks also unravelled why a governorship aspirant and former Executive Director of First Bank, Dauda Lawal, is throwing everything at the Zamfara governor to emerge the APC governorship candidate in the state.
The fierce battle regarding who takes over the reins of power on May 29 next year is not about peace, justice, economic prosperity and development – indices that Zamfara people need badly – but particularly about the selfish desires and aspirations of Yari and Lawal.
The governor, who had recently claimed that God had anointed the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Muktar Idris, as the next governor of Zamfara, competent sources told THISDAY, was trying to cover up the financial mess he has left the state in.
“Governor Abdulaziz Yari knew what his fate would be like by the time he is out of office and he has no immunity to cling to. It is apparent that he has mismanaged the state’s funds. He must account for them. He knew that the EFCC would come after him because there are many people waiting to blow the whistle regarding the way he has mismanaged the funds of the state,” one of the sources stated.
Another source who is familiar with the fierce battle of supremacy and political intrigues going in Zamfara added: “The governor has financial mismanagement of the state to deal with. You know what that means? As of today or tomorrow, he can’t clean up that financial mess.
Somebody else has to do that for him. It is not Kabir Marafa or Dauda Lawal who could. Guess who? It’s his anointed candidate, Alhaji Idris. Why? It is simply because Alhaji Idris is the state’s commissioner for finance. The battle in Zamfara APC will be a battle to the finish. For Yari, everything is at stake.”
At a recent mega rally the incumbent governor had said of Idris: “I have prayed and asked people to pray and at the end of day, God showed us our choice. We are not restricting anybody from the contest but we have decided to anoint Muktar Idris as the APC governorship flag bearer in the state.”
While, Yari is allegedly busy trying to cover his tracks before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would begin to be hot on his heels at the expiration of his term in office, the former First Bank director, Lawal, is said to be trying to get the EFCC off his back by clinching the APC governorship ticket and eventually winning the poll.
Lawal had claimed that he was being hounded by the EFCC because of his close relationship with the former Minister of Petroleum Resources.
According to him, his relationship with the former minister was nothing more than professional and he was never used by the former Alison-Madueke to siphon public funds as alleged against him by the anti graft agency.
The former banker had been questioned by the commission about his alleged complicity in the alleged $25 million acquisition of the Le Meridien Hotel in Port Harcourt but he had always denied any involvement in the acquisition of the said property, saying the allegation “is malicious and without substance in any material particular” and that he “is completely oblivious of the ownership status of the said hotel neither is he directly or remotely aware of any transaction involving the former minister on this hotel.”
The embattled Lawal has been involved in legal fireworks with the EFCC regarding the sum of $40 million that he claimed was forcibly taken from him by the agency.
“Going by the facts and circumstances of this particular case, can it be said that the sum of N9.08 billion which is the naira equivalent of 40 million dollars, was not reasonably suspected to form proceeds of a crime?’’
In the build-up to the primaries and its aftermath, Kabir Marafa, a senator representing Zamfara central, had accused Yari of being responsible for the violence in the governorship primary in which many were reportedly injured during the exercise while election materials were allegedly snatched by the state government officials, leading to the Chairman of the state’s election committee, Abubakar Faki, to cancel the exercise.