By EDDY OCHIGBO, Kaduna –
Residents of Zamfara State have commended Governor Bello Matawalle for successfully hosting the 36th edition of Sheik Ibrahim Nyass Maulud celebration without any security infringement.
The celebration which took place at a time when the state is facing security challenges, made it difficult to believe that a gathering of such magnitude could take place in the state – was unbelievably a resounding success.
In an interview with NATIONAL ACCORD in Gusau, Malam Tajudeen Aliyu, a Gusau-based Civil Servant, expressed joy, pointing out that despite the security challenges, over three million people from different parts of Africa, gathered in the town without any story of attack or kidnapping.
He said the peaceful hosting of the Maulud event was an indication that the peace initiative introduced by the governor when he took over the mantle of leadership of the state, has begun to yield positive results.
While describing the ongoing strategy by the governor as courageous, Aliyu said the peace process which nobody thought will work because of the magnitude of the security problem at that time, “is now a source of hope for residents in the state”.
According to Musa Tanko, a resident in Gasau, the governor deserves commendation for the wonderful feat of successfully hosting the Nyass Maulud celebration. “What if something had happened during the celebrations? What would they have said? His opponents were there waiting for something to happen so that they can rubbish the event”, Tanko volunteered.
He went on: “See, let me tell you something; even the introduction of the Sharia gathering that attracted large crowd is not anything near the crowd that came to this city for the Maulud. I only pray that it will continue like this; and I’m begging all these politicians that do not see anything good with anybody except themselves, to please allow this man to work. Sometimes they’re the problem”, Tanko said, adding that the successful Maulud celebration in Gasau was a pointer that peace has gradually started to return to the state, quite unlike before when attacks and kidnappings were on daily basis.
“Some people are saying that it is the politicians that don’t want the man to succeed and others are saying that the bandits were not getting what they were promised and you know they are used to collecting big amount of money as ransom when they kidnap; that is why.
“But no matter how you look at it; see this celebration, nothing happened and it is an indication that the opponents of governor Bello Matawalle are misleading the general public through their social media handles to portray that there’s no peace in the state, in order to demonstrate to the world that the Governor has failed. But he is now vindicated.
“Although some people are still sceptical and not too comfortable about the present situation of things in the state, it should be noted that it is not always easy to end a conflict of this magnitude within a short period. We therefore need to give the governor our total commitment and support in order for the government to gain more success in the fight against the armed banditry”.
While advising the governor to organize a national prayer in Zamfara and invite all Muslim clerics in the country to prove that peace has returned to the state, he suggested that sanctions should be placed on all those fanning the embers of insecurity and disunity in the state.
Keen watchers in Zamfara State believe that Governor Matawalle is committed to the fight against insurgency which has led to current peaceful state of affairs in the state.