Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, says Abdulrahman Dambazau, minister of interior, has no moral justification to comment on good governance.
Yari said this in response to the comment Dambazau directed at him during the International Press Institute (IPI) congress in Abuja on Thursday.
Dambazau had said that it was not appropriate for the governor of Zamfara to quit his role as chief security officer (CSO) of the state.
Last week, Yari announced that he had quit the role because of his helplessness over the security situation of the state.
But in a statement on Friday, the governor defended his action, saying the problem of insecurity has lingered because of Dambazau’s inefficiency.
He also taunted him over a video which went viral two years ago. In the video, an official of the Department of State Services (DSS) attached to the minister was seen cleaning his shoes.
“Gov Yari wonders how a minister of the Federal Republic could expose himself in making such a public statement.
“Is the minister’s refusal to visit Zamfara as minister of interior who is in charge of internal security, to assess the situation there, listen to and address the complaints by the junior security personnel, sympathize with the people of Zamfara state and offer professional advice that is good governance?
“Is the minister’s inability to control the infiltration or influx of foreign agents with evil intentions into the country, paving ways for criminality, that is good governance? Or is it keeping soldiers with him cleaning his shoes instead of sending them to the front line that is good governance?”
Yari said the allegations were baseless, adding that he could not believe that an army general would “descend so low” to postulate that, dealing with a persistent security challenge has nothing to do with presence of security personnel.
“It is totally misleading and insulting to the intelligence of Nigerians to blame a state governor for the failure of security when he has no power and control over the deployment of troops to fight the bandits and protect lives,” he said.
“Most of the bandits and terrorists in Nigeria are foreign nationals, how do they find themselves in the country if the ministry of interior under Dambazau’s watch is carrying out its responsibilities efficiently and effectively?
“Is it not shameful on the part of the minister that internal security of this country under his watch become worrisome more than ever before? We are utterly surprised that the minister of interior should be blaming the victims of insecurity instead of making a case for Zamfara state for prompt and decisive action to defeat the armed bandits committing atrocities in the state.
“We should also like to ask the minister why he didn’t blame poor governance for terrorists attacks in other northern states or why he thinks state governors should be blamed when they have no power to order troops deployment.”
Yari also demanded a public apology from the minister, accusing him of blackmailing the Zamfara state government and inciting the people against him.