For a state that is plagued with extreme privation, hunger, humanitarian crisis and lack, one would have thought that Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state will be more frugal with expenditures than he unabashedly displayed recently.
His warped decision to procure brand new cars, Cadillac 2019 Model, for 17 Emirs, 13 senior District Heads and 230 District Heads across the state, in the midst of poverty, typifies the misdirected mindset of an average Nigerian political elite in terms of priority, when faced with a swinging scale of preference.
It is on record how often the governor begrudgingly berates these traditional rulers at the slightest opportunity, accusing them of complicity in the unending fight against terrorism in the state.
In 2019, he set up a committee, headed by a retired inspector general of police, Mohammad Abubakar, to look into the remote and immediate cause of the protracted banditry in Zamfara state. Even though the committee report indicts the traditional rulers, no action has been taken against them outside the scapegoating of the only two that were deposed.
That the same Matawalle will turn around to gift the traditional rulers such expensive cars all in the name of recognising them as custodians of religion, culture and vehicles of peace, smacks of double talk and crass inconsistency.
Governor Matawalle is obviously thinking more of the monarchs than the teeming agrarian population who can no longer go to their farms until they pay protection taxes to the terrorists.
He’s not mindful of the fact that the terrorists have collected over N3 billion as a ransom from the families of abducted persons in the state, according to his committee report.
These ruling elites do not care how posterity will judge them tomorrow. If not, this type of profligacy, as witnessed in Zamfara state yesterday would have for long been abated. But let me ask a question: why are we like this?
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online