Calm Down, Governor Matawalle, It’s Karma – By Comfort Obi


Bello Matawalle, the outgoing Governor of Zamfara State, wants our sympathy. He is asking for it. He is lobbying for it. He is crying for it. He is desperate for it.

Matawalle has been doing everything to curry our sympathy, including throwing in a dose of blackmail since March, 2023, when he lost his second term bid for the Governorship seat of Zamfara State.

He was defeated by Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. That loss reduced him to a deserved one-term in office. It was a loss that sweetened the hearts of not a few people.

Since then, Matawalle has been crying like a baby whose mother’s breast was snatched away from. He is seeking for a listening ear. But he is not going to get that from me.

And here’s why.

The Governor is being dealt by the law of karma. A law that never forgets. No sane person sympathizes with anybody being dealt with by it. It is a just law. A chief consoler. A leveler.

So, here I am, since his ordeal,  watching Matawalle run from pillar to post. Sinking. Clutching at every straw to stay  afloat. Confused. And to worsen it, the Governor now suffers from diarrhea of the mouth.

This ailment started as soon as he lost his re-election bid. Matawalle, surprisingly, put the blame on the Presidency.  He accused the Presidency of hunting him down. He said it was because he took the Federal Government to Court over the Naira re-design, the scarcity of the new Naira, and the sudden withdrawal of the old Naira. He put it as if he fought on the side of the masses.  He said his punishment for that was to make sure he was defeated at the polls.

Not true.

True, Governor Matawalle sued the Federal Government at the Supreme Court over the Naira crisis. But he did not do that alone. He sued  along with two other Governors – Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State,  and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State. So, you ask:  why would the FG mark Matawalle out, alone,for punishment? How come he was the only one who failed in his desires? El-Rufai was able to have his way, and  installed his successor. Bello was able to foist his Governorship Candidate on the Kogi APC for the 11th November 2023 Election. The was, according to the  others who contested with Bello’s Candidate, no Primary. They alleged that  Bello simply organised people to write the results and submit. But what does Bello care? His Candidate is not only the flag bearer, but Bello  took him to President Muhammadu Buhari for a Presidential endorsement. So, why only Matawalle?

READ ALSO:  MURIC Slams Governor Ortom For Honouring Coupist, Gideon Orkar

And, why would an APC- controlled Presidency decide to lose a State to the opposition just to punish a Governor? If they wanted to punish him, he would be allowed to win, and impeached after his inauguration. Or, isn’t this Nigeria where only six members of the State House of Assembly would stay in a Hotel Room and impeach the Governor?

Ask Peter Obi. When he was impeached as the Anambra State Governor, the process took place in a Hotel in another State. Nothing happened. It was the Court that rescued Obi. By the way, for the records,  Matawalle, himself, engineered the impeachment of his own Deputy by concocting lies against him. So, the Presidency would have had no problems impeaching him, instead of losing the State to the opposition. But he was not done.

He looked for a way to hit the  Federal Government, to hurt the Country because he failed an election.

Zamfara, since Matawalle, has been the most insecure, most impoverished State in Nigeria. Bandits and Terrorists reign. Hunger too. At a point, the Governor made a show of fighting terrorism. Proof: he suspended an Emir who honoured the leader of a terrorist gang with a traditional title. But soon after he lost his second term bid, he reinstated the Emir, thus setting a trap for his successor, and making it more difficult for the FG to rid the State of terrorism.

Nothing much was done to Matawalle. The FG ignored him.

Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State

But no longer.

The Governor has finally talked himself into trouble, big trouble.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, a few days ago, hinted that a number of Governors would be pulled in for interrogation after they hand over power to their successors on May 29, 2023. That day would mark goodbye to immunity. The EFCC was not specific on any Governor. The Commission did not specifically mention Matawalle’s name. But remember, he sufferes from diarrhea of the mouth. So, he jumped into the arena, and urged the EFCC to also investigate the Presidency, Cabinet members and the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa.

When the EFCC, in response, then, disclosed it was investigating Matawalle for an alleged contract scam worth the sum of  N70 billion, the Governor threw the bomb. And now, Nigerians are reeling in shock.

He accused Bawa, the EFCC Chair, of demanding from him, Matawalle, a bribe to the tune of two million US Dollars. He said he refused. And hints that his refusal accounts to why Bawa is after him. He said he has evidence against Bawa. However, the Governor has not disclosed why Bawa would ask for such a whopping sum of money in bribe? For example, why did Bawa want to cover for the Governor in exchange for two million Dollars? And how was he going to deliver such an amount of money to Bawa? Money transfer? Cash?

These guys just throw in billions and hundreds of millions just like that. As if it is one kobo or one cent. They are the ones who taught bandits, kidnappers and terrorists how to ask for ransome money in hundreds of millions of Naira.

Matawalle insists he has evidence to prove his allegation against Bawa. Where is the evidence? Why has he not thrown it in? Did he record Bawa? Did he hide a camera which videod Bawa asking for bribe?  Wonderful.

The EFCC has called his bluff. It has asked the Governor to spill the beans.  The Commission says: make the evidence public. So, the ball is in Matawalle’s court.

My opinion: Either way, Matawalle is in trouble. I tinker that either way, he could be slammed for a criminal act, or criminal conspiracy in the case of Bawa. And that’s in addition to the alleged N70 billion contract scam.

The questions are: Why did the Governor keep quiet till now? If Bawa demanded for that bribe from him, why did Matawalle not report to the Presidency, the National Security Adviser, the Inspector General of Police, or the Director General of the Department of State Services? Why did he wait till days to his imminent arrest by the EFCC  to start talking?

If you ask me, it smells of blackmail to stop the EFCC from picking him, and if it does, to say: ‘I told you. I’m being persecuted because I refused to give Bawa bribe.’ He wants Bawa leave office  with him. He wants Bawa to  stand down as the EFCC Chair and face investigation. Some people are already asking for that too. But I disagree. Nobody should encourage Bawa to give in to blackmail, otherwise, EFCC will be gone.

His predecessor Ibrahim Magu, insists he was blackmailed, harassed, lied upon, and heckled out of the Commission. Many people, now, agree with him. Why? After all that public humiliation of Magu, and millions of Naira spent on investigating him by a Panel headed by no-less a person than a retired President of the Court of Appeal, what came out of it?  Nothing till date.  Instead, Magu went back to his Police work, got promoted to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police, and retired, honourably, on that rank.

The same fate befell Magu’s successor, Farida Waziri. After she was humiliated out of office, nobody  accused her of any wrong doing except beer palour gossips. And we know how the pioneer Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, ended. EFCC should not be the graveyard of its Chairmen.

I’m not here trying to preempt the investigation. But I think that Governor Matawalle is not telling the truth. If Bawa had asked for two million US Dollars, Matawalle would have raised it and given him just  to save his head. Isn’t it Zamfara?  Mine some gold, illegally, sell, and raise the money. Simple. Or, isn’t Matawalle an Executive Governor? Was it not Matawalle’s predecessor, Senator Abdul’aziz Yari, the one who wants to be our Senate President, who, the other day,  bought a book in honour of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, for a paltry N250 million?

Finally, I’m surprised that Matawalle does not understand where his problem is coming from. It is the law of Karma dealing with him. It  is a pay back for his betrayal of his former Political Party, the PDP. It is an answer to his prayers that God should punish him if he betrayed the PDP.

Here is a guy who contested  for the office of the Governor of Zamfara State under the PDP in 2019, and came a miserable,  distant second to the APC Candidate, Mukhtar Shehu Idris.  About 48 hours, or so, I forget now, to Idris’ inauguration, the Supreme Court sacked him and all APC winners over illegal Primaries.

So, enter, all PDP Candidates, including Matawalle, who had no hope of becoming a Governor. He pledged his total allegiance to the PDP. He swore he would never dump the Party. And, if he did, he swore again, that God should punish him.

Midway into his Governorship, Matawalle not only dumped the PDP, but engineered the impeachment of his very young and polished Deputy, Mahid Aliyu  Mohammed Gusau, on trumped up charges – for not joining him to dump the PDP.

I don’t  know why Matawalle is crying. God has just answered his prayers. And will add an icing on his cake on May 29, when he would, most probably, walk into the waiting hands of  EFCC Operatives. After that, another ordeal may be waiting for him –  a suit by Bawa against Matawalle for everything he has, unless he proves the two million Dollars bribe allegation against the EFCC Chair. An uphill task.  See, as James Hadley  Chase would say: “That’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

Obi is the Editor-in-Chief/CEO of The Source (Magazine),  Email:





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here