This is my personal opinion, and I’ll try to be objective, because one day I’ll love to see or hear same from the general public.
One may wonder or ask why I’m passionate about Zamfara state’s political affairs, what’s my relationship with the citizens of the state, among many more questions.
The usual answer is, citizens of the state have done so much for me. In fact, I know the state more than my state of origin (Kaduna). I had my education in the state, and my focus is on the state politics.
Let me begin by acknowledging the efforts of the past Zamfara state leaders, who have one way or the other toiled and moiled the prosperity and the integrity of the good people of Zamfara state. Without their selfless service, a lot would have gone wrong. May Allah reward them abundantly, amin.
Zamfara state was created in 1996, by late head of state General Sani Abacha. It is located in the Northwestern part of Nigeria and has 14 local government areas.
From 1999 general elections to date, the citizens of the state have witnessed four different leaders from different backgrounds and ideologies. They include:
Ahmad Sani Yariman Bakura (1999-2007); Mamuda Aliyu Dallatun Shinkafi (2007-2011); Abdulazizu Yari Abubakar Shatiman Mafara (2011-2019) and
Muhammad Bello Matawallen Maradun (2019-date).
Time will not allow me to rate their individual performance. Nevertheless, let us focus on some major sectors that the citizens of the state, especially the downtrodden, were battling with. These sectors are education, health, job creation/economic development and security.
Education: from 1999 to date, nothing has changed in the state’s education system, especially of building structures and standard.
It was only Yariman Bakura and Matawalle who awarded scholarship. AA Yari and Mamuda didn’t award any, simply because of their personal interest.
However, Yari initiated and started the construction of the state university, but Matawalle suspended the project .
Health: from Yariman administration to date, the state health sector is facing a lot of challenges on facilities. Most of the general hospitals are decrepit yet one of the four leaders built his own specialist hospital.
Job creation: only Matawalle initiated the Zamfara Social Investment Programme, ZASIP, where many citizens of the state are beneficiaries. The state has no cottage industry despite its increasing population that are jobless.
Security: this is is far beyond Zamfara state leaders because it’s a national issue. But since the creation of the state till 2011 the people of the state were leaving in peace and harmony until 2012 when the issue of insecurity reared its ugly head.
However, when Matawalle succeeded Yari, our expectation was that, peace will return to the state; unfortunately, it seems like yesterday was better than today.
When Matawalle assumed duty, he promised to complete RUGA project, which will tackle the major aspect of insecurity, but he failed to keep his promise.
In view of the above, Zamfara state is far behind in terms of social amenities, infrastructure, among many more. And if care is not taken, for many years to come, Zamfara state can’t compete with its peers.
Abubakar Muhammad Sani,