2023 Polls: Group warns Governor Matawalle over inciting comments, blaming Nigerian military

The Centre for Africa Liberation and Socio-Economic Rights (CALSER), a Civil Society Organisation, has accused Governor Bello Matawalle of displaying undemocratic tendencies following his defeat at the last election.

The Centre, at a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, said Matawaalle has undemocratically continued to blame his failure at the polls on the recent naira redesign policy as well as the Nigerian military.

CALSER’s Director of Communication and Strategy, Okwa Daniels, while addressing the press, cautioned Matawalle against inciting public nuisance, warning that his comments could be perceived in such a manner that could enable anarchists to disrupt the peace of the land.

The CSO rubbished the claim that more soldiers were sent to the state for the elections than to combat banditry.

DAILY POST has reported that Governor Matawalle had in an interview with DW Hausa, alleged plots to punish him, Ganduje and El-Rufai over their stance on the new naira policy.

The Zamfara Governor had also alleged that all polling units in his state were flooded by military officers with intent to intimidate voters.

But the CSO said it found it bizarre Matawalle’s claims that soldiers were deployed to punish him for challenging the naira redesign policy, insisting that the governor was not the only person affected by the infamous policy.

According to Daniels: “He was not the only one who challenged the policy. The governors of Kaduna, Kogi, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Sokoto, and Lagos states were part of the suit that challenged the naira redesign policy of the Federal Government and elections held in these states, even though only for state assemblies in some of these states.

“Some of the governors of these states lost in the elections or their proteges lost, while some of the governors that did not challenge the Federal Government on the policy also took beatings at the polls. Matawalle should thus ask himself why he is the only one blaming the Federal Government for his defeat by a better-articulated opponent.”

CALSER also urged “Nigerians to note the fresh dangers constituted to the country by Matawalle and his unguarded tantrums, through which he is attempting to undermine the Nigerian military as an institution that interferes in elections when this is not true.”

The CALSER director added: “It is on record that the military, particularly the army, played stabilising roles across the country during the 2023 General Elections to the extent that it was repeatedly commended by political players across party lines all over the country.

“Also, Matawelle is knowingly fueling the misplaced discontent of the children of anger who had concluded that mere rants on social media would win them elections and who are now looking for excuses and validation to ground the country with protests in their bid to frustrate the inauguration of the next government and consequently precipitate an interim government – something that will truncate democracy.

“Even though the Department of State Services (DSS) did not mention names when it confirmed that proponents of an interim government are holding meetings to intensify their efforts, Matawalle, by making these unfounded accusations to provoke protests against government institutions, has exposed himself as one of those pursuing the formation of an interim government in the event that he cannot ingratiate himself on the president-elect.”

Avowing that the Zamfara State governor has become “a loose cannon that must be immediately railed in,” the CALSER director further warned Matawalle to desist from dragging the image of the Nigerian military into “his poor outings in managing the security crisis in his state, which ultimately led to his defeat.”

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