Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state, says his opposition to the naira redesign policy affected his re-election bid.
Matawalle was one of the governors who instituted a suit against the naira redesign policy initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In an interview with DW Hausa on Wednesday, Matawalle alleged that soldiers prevented residents from voting for him during the March 18 governorship election.
He said over 300 vehicles filled with soldiers were sent to Zamfara for the election, adding that people “were beaten up and prevented from voting” for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared the winner of the election, polling 377,726 votes to defeat Matawalle who got 311,976 votes.
The Zamfara governor said it is only his party that can challenge the result of the election.
“Going to court is for the party to decide not me. If the APC says it’s going to court, I cannot prevent the party because I’m under the party and any decision the party makes… I cannot stop it from taking any step it feels is right. We are waiting for the party to speak on what is the next thing to do,” Matawalle said.
“I told my people prior to the election not to take part in rigging the poll for me to win because I prefer the people of the state to vote for me to win without rigging.
“During the election, the number of soldiers we saw in Zamfara was terrifying because we have never seen that number of soldiers in the state.
“The moment I saw them, I didn’t bother myself and I knew something was going on because I received confidential reports that there are some people who want to take revenge on me and some governors over some things they feel we didn’t do right.
“What they’ve been saying was when we filed a case at the court over the naira redesign policy, that I, [Abdullahi] Ganduje and [Nasir] el-Rufai will see the result of what we did.
“In truth, we have the challenge of insecurity in Zamfara which [we were] trying to get soldiers to be deployed but we couldn’t. But three days to the election, over 300 cars carrying soldiers came into Zamfara.
“If the troops had been sent when we were dealing with insecurity, by now, it would have been brought to an end in Zamfara.
“No polling unit in Zamfara had less than 50 soldiers attached to it and the soldiers beat up and prevented people who intended to vote for the APC.
“All these things happened and we also have videos and when something happens and we call the soldiers, they don’t come. Therefore this was just something that was staged.
“This is not my first time of losing in an election. I contested for senate in 2015 and lost. After losing, I contested again and won. I’m a politician, the struggle continues.” (The Cable)