The governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has tongue-lashed his colleagues in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), especially the governors of the South-South, for allegedly peddling “deliberate misinformation and outright lies” over the mining of gold deposits in the state.
The Zamfara governor, who is a member of the PDP, stated this in a statement issued by his spokesperson, Zailani Bappa, on Friday.
Apparently miffed by the reaction of some South-South governors who queried the rationale behind allowing Zamfara State government to have control over the gold deposit in the state while Niger Delta oil is placed under the exclusive control of the Federal Government, Matawalle said the South-South governors were just chasing shadows, adding that his government has no hand in any of the mining activities in the state.
The Statement reads: “I am having a very bad experience of recent from some of my PDP Governor colleagues which I still find very puzzling. For instance, the South-South Governors accusing me in the media are PDP Governors and they are the same people who brewed controversy over the so-called Zamfara Gold, premised on deliberate misinformation and outright lies,”
“Surprisingly, it is the APC Federal Government which has all the correct records on the gold mining issue that came out to defend me in this saga. As PDP colleagues, I expected the Governors to contact me first and find out my own side of the story before unleashing their venom in the media”, he said.
“As the brouhaha lasted, I commend the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari for being supportive of our efforts to organise the economic sector in the state to avoid using the mineral deposits to promote insecurity in our dear state.
“Today, the Federal Government is issuing licences to deserving Companies to operate in the mining sector in the state. The biggest company with an investment of billions of naira is owned by a Nigerian from Anambra state. And I wonder where the idea of Zamfara state owning the gold mines emanated from. As at now, the state Government does not have a hand in any of the mining activity in the state because the constitution does not empower us to do so.
“I call on the South-South Governors to eschew intellectual idleness and support its people to operate modular refineries as provided by the law and lift their people out of fear rather than sit behind and start chasing shadows rather than substance,” Mr Matawalle challenged.