The Zamfara State Government House, ministries and agencies are presently deserted after the state governor, Bello Matawalle, left the country for United States, where one of his wives was delivered of a baby girl, SaharaReporters has gathered.
SaharaReporters had reported that the governor left the country on Sunday, September 19, 2021 after vowing that the ban on mobile telecommunications in the state will remain until the the bandits terrorising the state are dealt with.
Matawalle had pledged to remain in the state to fill the pains of the communication lockdown together with the masses.
Sources told SaharaReporters that throughout last week, most top government functionaries including commissioners, permanent secretaries, among others stayed away from their offices, a situation that further grounded the state following the shutting down of GSM network, closure of markets, schools and restriction of movement in some areas.
Following the governor's departure, the state Government House has been deserted.
The main gate was half opened throughout last week, the source added.
In the absent of the top government functionaries, it was observed that most workers also stayed away from their offices.
“Senior government officials including permanent secretaries and directors were not on ground. At the J.B. Yakubu Secretariat, housing most of the ministries in the state, only security guards and cleaners were seen.
"You know Zamfara is a rural state and whenever the governor is not around, government workers will go for their private businesses. Everything revolves around the governor. Banditry has worsened the situation in the state," the source said.
A government official told SaharaReporters that he left the state for a private engagement since the governor was not around. He said the governor also left for his personal engagement.
"Now that the United Nations General Assembly is over, why is the governor not back? The President is back. The main reason the governor went to US was for his family affair. His wife was delivered of a baby girl and this is why he travelled," he said.
Matawalle had two weeks ago sent his wife to the US where she was delivered of a baby girl.
Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara state where bandits have thrived.
Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.
In 2019, the state government entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.
About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to leaders of different 'repentant' gangs of bandits by the governor in 2020.
But despite all these, communities in the state are still being attacked and residents kidnapped and killed.
To curtail the banditry, the government placed ban on mobile telecommunications network.
There are also restrictions of movement in some parts of the state even as markets, banks and other commercial places have been shut.