President Bola Tinubu and his albatross below.
Bello Matawalle – the Albatross? And some of the cars below.
Albatross practically is a very large, chiefly white Oceanic bird, with long, narrow wings, found mainly in the Southern Oceans. It is of the family [Diomedeidae] of large web-footed seabirds that have long slender wings, are excellent gliders, and include the largest seabirds.
It is a special specie of God’s creation. There is need to know a little more about it before coming to access what it might be representing in humans’ relationship.
Without such little understanding, it might be difficult to understand how and why Bello Matawalle could be President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s ALBATROSS. For now, he – Bello Matawalle, is surely one. Or isn’t he? Let us know a little more about the bird first.
Albatross feeds on fishes, cephalopods, jellyfish and sometimes crustaceans. It also eats penguin and seal carrion. It is a big, well-mannered bird of friendly, even playful disposition, with an abundant curiosity as to human presence and activities within the realm of open Ocean over which it presides.
Here are some special characteristics of Albatross:
- It has the largest wingspan of any living bird.
- It can go years without touching land.
- It can live and raise chicks into their 60s.
- It mates for life, with some wiggle room.
- It courts each other with elaborate mating dances.
- It can smell food in the water from miles away.
- In addition, Albatrosses are indeed capable of flying up to 10,000 miles in a single journey and circumnavigate the earth in 46 days.
Oh, there are more than described above standing good qualities the Albatross can be associated with. Yes, such good and beautiful qualities. However, and this is the place of question mark, the earlier Sailors of human history, saw and sensed philosophically; the dead bird hanging on their necks. How practical that could have been should be left only to the conjectures of those wise sailors of internationally exposure.
Those sailors however drew a conclusion that it is a heavy burden one cannot escape, and being kept from doing what one wants to do, and such burden traditionally comes with bad luck.
What the interpretation of those sailors meant is that when one is identified as having an Albatross hanging around his, or her neck, it means that such person could cause great problems from which the bearer could not escape from, preventing one from doing what one wants to do, or even limiting one from achieving one’s goals of laudable targets. Albatross presence in one’s life remains a mysterious bad omen.
Bello Matawalle, the incumbent Minister of State in the Ministry of Defense was the immediate past Executive Governor of Zamfara State – North-East Nigeria.
He won the election in 2019 to become the governor of the State on the platform of the People Democratic Party, not necessarily by the strength of his political party then, but by the fact that the All Progressives Congress conducted an anti-democratic Primary, which was the reason the Judiciary – finally sealed by the Supreme Court, disqualified all offices contested for by the APC in the State. This made it easier for the PDP to clear all elective offices in the State.
Bello Matawale, having been sworn-in as Governor, did not waste time carpet-crossing from the PDP to the APC on the calculation of not being able to win a second tenue in 2023, if he remained in the PDP – just the way the typical Nigerian politician’s cookie crumbles. Unfortunately, he failed to win the governorship’s election when the chicken came home to roost in 2023.
Why did he fail to win that election despite the bags of money – even in foreign currency available to him? The answer to this question may have to wait till another day as the Economic and Financial Crime Commission [EFCC] was not allowed to open the corruptive “cans of worn” said to have been hanging on the dethroned Governor – Bello Matawale.
Ab initio, the then Executive Chairman of the EFCC; Abdulrasheed Bawa, had alleged that the governor had fraudulently stolen the Zamfara State people’s money – amounting to N75bn for his personal investment.
“We are waiting to charge him to court for fraud once his tenure as governor expires,” was the promise given by the EFCC Chairman, on one hand. While in the other hand, the Governor himself – Bello Matawalle, came out smoking, by saying that he had evidence to prove that the EFCC’s Chairman – Abdulrasheed Bawa, demanded a bribe of $2m from him and his – the governor, refusal to give the money to Bawa triggered the anger of the latter to the accusation levelled against him.
Bello Matawalle’s counter was well noted by Nigerians, except that two very important facts were missing from the Governor’s counterclaim.
First was his failure to tell Nigerian people the purpose of the EFCC Chairman demanding the whopping sum of 2 million American Dollars for. Simply put, the sum of money he alleged Bawa demanded from him “was in leu of what? He would have helped his audience, ditto Nigerians, if he were able to just give the narration what was the reason, or what was to be “covered” for him by the anti-corruption Czar for demanding for such amount of stupendous money. His failure to give this simple explanation left his reaction to the allegation in confusing conjecture.
The second thing he did not say is to clear the part of the interrogation if he was being paid American Dollar as a Governor or Nigerian Naira. If his salaries and all allowances – as a Governor were paid in Nigerian Naira, how come Bawa would approach him, demanding for bribe in American Dollar? His failure to provide this simply answer, again, left his navigational chart of the voyage to anchorage in nimble.
Unfortunately, Bola Tinubu, having been sworn-in on May 29, 2023, as President, gotten Abdulrasheed Bawa suspended from office and arrested, kept in detention for close to 80 days before retiring him from Service. While, in the other hand, Bello Matawalle was gloriously picked, in an anointing way, and appointed as Minister of State, to defend Nigeria and Nigerians.
While the Accuser languished away – albeit illegally, in detention, the Accused; without being asked to answer to any of the allegations levelled against him; allegations properly documented in files, was gloriously taken to the Palace of the Nigerian State’s Defender; albeit the way the Nigerian trajectory of justice’s prosecution [cookie] crumbles.
That was the immediate past of Bello Matawalle, and the route he passed to the gate of the Palace of the Country’s Defender. Won’t you say it was a route paved with Gold? Let us therefore return to the NOW – the present Matawalle, as a Defender of the Nigerian State Territorial, and its Integrity.
What we are going to read next here, shall be a Nigerian Court of competent jurisdiction’s judgement on the same Bello Matawalle about the number of Vehicles belonging to the people and government of Zamfara State which he illegally carted awau to his homes in Zamfara State, having lost out as Governor.
If what you are about to read is a Court’s judgement, shall there be any doubt that the act the Court’s judgement is based upon amounted to stealing? Read the allegations of the Zamfara State Government against the former Governor, the counterclaims of the Governor, and then finally, the judgement of Honourable Court. We shall return with the judgment of this author in the ending paragraph.
JUST-IN: COURT ORDERS RETRIEVAL OF 50 OFFICIAL VEHICLES FROM EX-ZAMFARA GOV MATAWALLE
A Federal High Court, sitting in Sokoto, Sokoto State, has dismissed a suit filed by the immediate-past governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, over the ownership of about 50 vehicles said to belong to Zamfara State government.
Recall that in June, the Zamfara State Police Command had raided the former Governor Matawalle’s residences and seized official vehicles taken away by him while leaving office as governor of the State on May 29, 2023, as ordered by the court.
A statement by the Spokesperson of the Zamfara State Governor, Sulaiman Bala Idris, on Monday, said that the Sokoto division of the Federal High Court rejected Matawalle’s claims of ownership of the official vehicles in question.
According to the statement, the former governor and his cabinet members had taken away all official vehicles belonging to the state government, leaving the present administration with nothing to use.
The statement read in parts: “Recall that in June, the Zamfara State Government gave the former governor and his deputy five working days to return all official vehicles taken away.
“All demands for the return of the said vehicles proved abortive, and as a result, the Zamfara State Government resorted to obtaining a court order to retrieve them. In pursuit of that order, a total number of over 50 vehicles were recovered by the police.
“After the vehicles were recovered, Bello Matawalle quickly went to the Federal High Court in Gusau. The court granted an order for the cars to be returned to him. Additionally, he filed a separate suit at the same court, seeking to enforce his fundamental right to own property, including the vehicles in question.
“The Zamfara State Government requested the transfer of the case to another jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.
“The Federal High Court of Nigeria, Sokoto Judicial Division, dismissed the matter on Friday. The court refused the reliefs sought by Bello Matawalle and rejected his claim to the ownership of the official vehicles. As a result, the vehicles are still considered the property of the Zamfara State Government.
“Our government is committed to recovering all that rightfully belongs to the people through an all-encompassing rescue mission that leaves no stone unturned.
“The judgment by the Federal High Court will encourage us to ensure that justice prevails and all perpetrators of financial banditry in Zamfara are brought to book.”
With this Court’s judgment, can there be any seasoned, sound, versatile, articulate, and sane Nigerian that will say that Bello Matawalle might not be an Albatross on President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and his Renewed Hope Agenda’s neck?
Most unfortunately, there are too many Matawalles in the present government. And that has become the most unfortunate Dilemma of Nigerians!
Godwin Etakibuebu; a Veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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