Governor Bello Matawalle
Zamfara State Education Commissioner, Jamilu Zannah, on Saturday unexpectedly parted ways with Governor Bello Matawalle just two weeks after the inauguration of the state executive council. Zannah attributed his resignation to what he called the governor’s high-handedness and lack of consultation on issues. But Matawalle dismissed the allegations as unfortunate, selfish and a ploy for cheap publicity. The State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Bilyaminu Shinkafi and the Governor’s Special Adviser on Comprehensive Agricultural Revolution Programme, Sambo Marafa, have also resigned, although for different reasons.
Zannah, who had served as Matawalle’s campaign director in the run up to the last elections, claimed that the governor had failed to fulfill the pledge he made to some people about giving them appointments once he assumed office. “His Excellency, Alhaji Bello Matawalle has been doing things and running this government single handedly since he assumed office as governor,” he told journalists in Gusau. “As his campaign director general, I know we made several promises to many people that when we succeed, these promises would be met.
“However, of all the appointments so far made, which include Directors General, Senior Special Assistants, Special Assistants, Special Advisers, Permanent Secretaries, Commissioners and members of boards and committees, I am not aware of any that the governor consulted us on.” Zannah who recently returned from a medical trip in India added: “even though the governor was aware of my sickness and my medical trip where l stayed for about 40 days, which was why l missed the executive council inauguration, he never called to sympathize with me up to the time l returned.
“Since l did not join this Matawalle movement for my personal gains but for the benefits of the people and in order to move the state forward, l have decided to reject this appointment as commissioner of education in the state with immediate effect, and this followed my discussions with my associates. I do not know how l can face all those people we made promises to when they see me going round as commissioner while the promises made to them remain unfulfilled.”
Matawalle, who is currently on a foreign trip, however, said through his Special Adviser on Media, Zailani Bappa that Zannah’s statement was unfortunate. He could not understand why “someone who claims closeness to His Excellency will resort to this unwholesome antic which is clearly a ploy to achieve a cheap and personal political goal.” He dismissed the reasons for the resignation as paltry, shallow and a political joke. He however wished Zannah all the best in his future endeavors. Bilyaminu Shinkafi left the state executive council to take up appointment as a member of the National Assembly Commission, while Marafa, a younger brother of the former senator representing Zamfara Central, Kabir Marafa, said he wanted to focus on his private business.