Governor Abdulaziz Yari
The Department of State Service, DSS, has detained, in Abuja, Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Sanusi Rikiji, his deputy, Muhammad Gumi and other principal officers of the Assembly allegedly on the order of Governor Abdulaziz Yari over impeachment move against him.
The Voice of America, Hausa Service, reported, yesterday, that the lawmakers were in detention in Abuja after the governor accused them of plotting to impeach him. Others arrested include the House Majority Leader, Isah Abdulmumini, and the Chief Whip, Abdullahi Dansadau.
Trouble was said to have began for the lawmakers after the Assembly called for a special sitting with Governor Yari to discuss what it called “the difficult situation the state found itself,” especially as regards governance of the state and how to find a way out.
However, the lawmakers said the governor misunderstood their mission and assumed that it was just a ploy to impeach him, hence his decision to order their arrest and detention.
One of the lawmakers, Umaru Faru, told the VOA that everyone knew the precarious situation that the state had found itself. He said: “People accuse the governor of abandoning the state, and they are also complaining about the handling of the state resources, especially the bailout funds released specifically to pay workers’ salaries.
“The money came but no one knows what happened to it. As we speak, local government staff, pensioners have not been paid, in fact, our traditional rulers have not been paid their five per cent constitutional allocation for several months, civil servants pay was cut and some of them were even sacked because of dwindling revenue.
However, they were not paid their entitlement even after the bailout came. That is why we invited them, definitely not for impeachment purposes.” Reports also said the remaining lawmakers have fled the state and were taking refuge in Kaduna State for fear of arrest.
The lawmakers issued a statement late on Tuesday asking President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene, and accused Yari of abuse of office. The statement, which was signed by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mannir Gidan Jaja, accused the governor of mismanagement of local government funds.
However, the state Commissioner of Information, Umaru Bukkuyum, denied that the lawmakers were in detention. He said the lawmakers were “just invited to Abuja for a meeting on how to find solution to all the problems.”