New naira policy cost me re-election – Matawalle

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Bello Matawalle, the governor of Zamfara State, has cited his opposition to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s naira redesign policy as the reason he was denied a second term in office.

In the Zamfara State governor’s race on March 18, Dauda Lawal of the People’s Democratic Party defeated Matawalle of the All Progressives Congress.

The governor stated, “What’s being said is that we went to court over new naira notes redesign,” in an interview with DW Hausa on Thursday. I, Ganduje, and El-Rufai would receive the appropriate punishment, they said.

He also complained that during the elections, more military personnel were stationed in Zamfara State than there had been during the bandit takeover.

“We’ve been asking them to send soldiers to us because we’ve been having security issues in Zamfara State, but they haven’t.

“But they sent over 300 vehicles carrying soldiers into Zamfara three days before the (governorship election). There are so many soldiers! It would be better if they could send them to us to combat insecurity. However, they only sent them at election times.

The governor charged that the President’s administration, led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret. ), had used a strong military presence to intimidate the Zamfara electorate into supporting the opposition PDP.

“In Zamfara, there were more than 50 soldiers in our voting unit. Even more bluntly, they stated that APC supporters would not be permitted to cast ballots.

“When I noticed that (the significant troop deployment), I knew they were planning something. I had received an intelligence report on what they were going to do to me, so this is why it didn’t bother me. Not only did I do something that was wrong, but so did other governors.

“People who wanted to vote for the APC were beaten and harassed. All of us have video evidence of this. We called for soldiers to help us, but they didn’t show up. But I’ve given God complete control, Matawalle said.

However, he claimed that despite his defeat in the election, Bola Tinubu’s victory as the APC’s presidential candidate provided him with sufficient solace.

We helped the APC win Zamfara State in the presidential election. However, the governorship was lost. We are pleased with his appearance nonetheless. It would have hurt us even more if he hadn’t won. But I’m not at all concerned,” he said.

The President’s Special Adviser and Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, respectively, could not be reached as of the time this report was filed.

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