A review of the lingering security challenges in Zamfara state.
The elderstateman general Aliyu Mohammed Gusau retired, the Nigerian’s number one intelligentsia, is a native of Zamfara state in northern Nigeria. He is regarded as the spymaster and highly feared and respected among his professional colleagues.
Gen. Aliyu Gusau has come a long way in the military intelligentsia and was on many occasions invited by the international community of intelligence experts to offer his expertise in dealing with more complex intelligence services.
He’ is therefore regarded as one of the elites in the intelligence gathering committy of nations.
The Zamfara born intelligence guru of northern Nigeria origin, has wielded influence and is highly connected across the globe. He has the singular honor of being recalled about 4 times to come and salvage the deficiency in Nigeria intelligence gathering. From Olusegun Obasanjo to Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Gusau’s Midas touch has been tremendous.
However, it is a decade now the people of his home state Zamfara are being tormented and tortured by bandits without the general saying a word on the situation there. He neither advised governments of the state that suffered most, the mayhem of the terrorists nor paid a single sympathy or condolence visit to remorse of the violent killings and destruction of lives and property of the Zamfara people.
Beside being heartbreaking that despite his expertise and wide range of contacts in the international community and Nigeria, by salvaging the intelligence structure and situation, the same man has not been able to salvage the security situation of his home state Zamfara.
There is groundswell of opinion that Gusau studied silence in the midst of blood letting and kidnappings going on cannot be said to be golden. What is more, is his son being the deputy governor and one of the critical stakeholders in the state. With the contacts all over the world, with the elites squad in intelligence gathering, Gusau cannot be said of short of what to do to nip the ugly trend that has always put Zamfara in the news for the wrong reasons in the bud.
Those who are of the opinion that the Gold in Zamfara was the bone of contention might not be farther from the truth. Or is it the political calculus of politics of 2023 driving some people crazy that Zamfara has Lied prostate among the north west states.
Worst still, one fact that is pointed towards the popular aphorism that “if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”. Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle has come out in clear terms and voice on several occasions to challenge critical stakeholders and elderstemen who feel and believe that their hands are clean and not entrenched in the blood that is flowing endlessly in Zamfara state to come out and ‘swear’ with the Holy qur’an that they have no hand in it and have nothing to do with those involved in it. Unfortunately, none of the critical stakeholders have been able to take up the challenge.
Recently, Gusau’s son, Mahdi, who also doubles as the deputy governor committed what is considered as a political ‘harakiri’ when in less than 24 hours after the gruesome murder of more than 40 souls mounted the soapbox to drum support for his party. What was Mahdi celebrating? That almost five villages were burnt down and several people killed including women and children in the local government of his principal, Matawalle, who found him worthy to be his running mate?
Like the former President Jonathan said, his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian, neither the Goldmine of Zamfara, nor the political calculus of 2023 is worth the blood of any Zamfaran. The groundswell of opinion in Gusau today is that Gen. Gusau’s silence in the midst of blood spilling is too deafening. They want him to speak and speak loudly to the situation and probably calmed it with his wealth of experience in the intelligence community and bring the necessary reprieve to the land.
Otherwise he is better accused of either masterminding Buhari government which vehemently opposed or conniving with some interest groups for a reason best known to them.
Zamfara deserves peace and it is time to speak peace and calm down all frayed nerves.
-Reuben Ezekiel is an independent security analyst.